In a significant observation, the Bombay high court on Monday said on Monday that video recordings of court proceedings could reduce crowding in court premises and spare judges from dealing with frivolous allegations against them.
Also, citing the blast outside the Delhi high court, the court observed that videography would ensure smaller crowds on the court premises.
The court was hearing an application filed by activist Indur Chhugani urging it to videograph proceedings in his petition challenging the election of Congress member of parliament Priya Dutt. Chhugani contended that a video recording of proceedings in his petition should be carried out at his expense in the interest of "transparency, justice, equity and fair play".
Chhugani also pointed out that other countries like France, Syria and even Nigeria have adopted videography during court proceedings.
Justice RC Chavan has now asked the registrars – legal and information technology (IT) – to inform the court about the feasibility of the proposal before the next hearing on September 23.
The court has asked the registrar, IT, to state the type of equipment required, cost, and the time needed for its installation.
Meanwhile, the registrar, legal, has been asked to check the modalities and feasibility of videographing court proceedings. The Advocate General and the chairman of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, too, have been asked to submit their opinion on the matter.
Justice Chavan also cited the recent bomb blast outside the Delhi high court at the crowded Gate no 5, and said if litigants could follow the court proceedings being recorded on a camera in a waiting room or from their homes, courts would be less crowded.
"Considering what happened outside Delhi high court, this method can ensure smaller crowds," the court said.
The judge held that the issue was important and the application has far-reaching effects. "Every action of the court should be recorded. This would also involve scrutiny of the conduct of all persons present in court," Justice Chavan said.