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Central Information Commission bars smartphones during hearings

The Competition Commission of India has barred appellants from carrying a mobile phone or any recording device into hearings after an appellant used an audio recording of the proceedings to accuse the commissioner of bias.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2016 00:33 IST
The Competition Commission of India has barred appellants from carrying a mobile phone or any recording device into hearings after an appellant used an audio recording of the proceedings to accuse the commissioner of bias.
The Competition Commission of India has barred appellants from carrying a mobile phone or any recording device into hearings after an appellant used an audio recording of the proceedings to accuse the commissioner of bias.(AFP file photo)

Information watchdog Central Information Commission (CIC) has shut its doors on mobile phones.

The commission has barred appellants from carrying a mobile phone or any recording device into hearings after an appellant used an audio recording of the proceedings to accuse the commissioner of bias.

“Yes, we have decided to restrict people from carrying any device into the hearings,” a commission source told HT. This is a common practice followed in judicial or quasi-judicial forums.

“There is no reason why appellants should be allowed to surreptitiously record the proceedings,” he said.

The trigger was a recent case where an appellant had accused a commissioner of bias and submitted an audio-recording of the proceedings to back the charge.

An information commissioner conceded that there had been occasions where the appellant as well as the commissioner lost their cool.

“It does not imply that the commissioner’s decision is biased in any case,” he explained.

In any case, there is no explicit provision under the right to information law to deal with cases where such allegations are levelled.