MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras HC has directed trial courts to obtain an undertaking from videographers who record the evidence of hearing and speech impaired witnesses, not to share it with third parties or upload them on online forum.
Hearing the petition of a rape accused who contended that the trial court had recorded only the interpretation of the signs made by the mute witness and not the actual signs, Justice P N Prakash observed that the judicial officer who is vested with a contingent fund in a district, shall make available the necessary funds for videographing hearing and speech impaired witnesses as and when such a request is made by the Presiding Officer of a court under his administrative control.
Further, the judge said that during informal discussions with some trial court judges on the viability of videographing such evidences and confession statements under Section 164 of the CrPC, they had expressed a genuine apprehension that the videographer might share it with third parties, in the event of which it might get uploaded in online platforms, which will be great injustice to the witness.
Therefore, trial courts should obtain an undertaking affidavit from the videographer as aforesaid and make it part and parcel of the Court records, the judge held.
He was disposing of a Criminal Revision Petition filed by one Mariyadoss who was convicted and sentenced seven years imprisonment under Section 376 IPC by the Principal Assistant Sessions Judge, Kumbakonam, and later on appeal, confirmed by the Additional Sessions Judge-cum-Fast Track Court-I, Thanjavur.