15 HCs give positive response to Supreme Court’s order on CCTVs
Fifteen high courts have taken necessary steps to follow the Supreme Court’s direction to set up CCTV facilities to record court proceedings in at least two districts.
The Centre placed this information before the top court on Thursday and assured it would pursue the matter with state governments on its part.
Additional solicitor general Pinky Anand said the high courts had shown interest in covering more districts in a phased manner. Anand also presented the Union law ministry’s affidavit giving details of the progress made so far.
In a landmark ruling on August 14, the SC had ordered all 24 high courts to provide audio-video recording facility in lower courts, thus expanding its March order that restricted CCTV facility only in two districts of every state.
“Constitutional courts in other countries have audio and video recordings. It is not a matter of privacy of judges,” it said in August.
A bench of justice AK Goel and justice UU Lalit took the government affidavit on record and expressed satisfaction over the “commendable progress” and posted the matter for December 11. The nine high courts that were yet to respond include Bombay, Gauhati, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand. In addition to these, as many as nine tribunals also updated the Centre about the progress made on the issue.
Consumer Courts, Debt Recovery Tribunal, Armed Forces Tribunal and Income Tax Appellate Tribunal are yet to respond, the SC was informed.
The bench perused the action plan submitted by the Punjab & Haryana HC to install CCTVs in four phases and advised the other HCs to adopt the same.
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