Bengaluru courts to have CCTV cameras in halls

All staffers, judicial officers will now have to come on time as 600 cameras will be installed in all courts

Published: 03rd December 2017 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2017 11:43 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The judicial administration has decided to install closed circuit television (CCTV) inside court halls of all lower courts across the city. The CCTVs without audio recording will be installed in all city civil courts, metropolitan magistrate courts, Lokayukta special courts, industrial tribunals and labour courts.

This move has come in compliance of the Supreme Court directions to ensure fair trial and transparency. The city courts function between 11am and 2pm and from 3pm to 5.45pm. Both the judicial officers as well as the staff should be punctual as the CCTVs will now disclose the time of their arrival and departure, sources in the High Court said. The court proceedings will be run without any interruptions.

As far as security point of view is concerned, there will be no scope for clash between Bar and Bench during the arguments. The conduct of both judicial officers, advocates, accused and other litigants will be monitored by the principal judge of the court concerned, through the CCTVs.

According to a source in the Public Works Department, 600 CCTVs will be installed in all courts and the cost of the project is yet to be estimated. The cameras will be installed soon. But the CCTV footage will not be available for public under the Right to Information Act without the permission of High Court.

Presently, CCTVs are installed in vantage points in some courts for security reasons but not inside court halls. This includes at the entry and exit points, parking area, court corridors and in some important branches of the courts.

The advocates have welcomed the move. “It is a good development towards the transparency and accountability. It is a regulator for both litigants, lawyers and judges. If there is a serious controversy inside the court hall, the footage will be proof for initiating contempt and vice versa. Although the footage is not available under RTI Act without the permission of the High Court, the individual can convince the higher judiciary and get the footage if necessary,” advocate K B K Swamy said.

Swamy added that the CCTVs without audio recording are being installed on an experimental basis but if needed, high resolution CCTVs with both audio and video recording facilities will be installed, he said.



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