Plea to record hearings goes to chief justice (Lead, superseding previous story)

Monday, February 28, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Monday referred to the chief justice a plea seeking permission to record the proceedings of a case in which the petitioner is a party.

Justice S.N. Dhingra said: “Any recording sought to be used for judicial review before any forum cannot be permitted by the court unless there is a set procedure for authentication of the recording and a copy of the recording is preserved in the court.”

“The issue will have to be decided by a larger bench of the court on both legal as well as administrative side. Necessary direction can be issued only by the larger bench after considering issues as to what paraphernalia would be needed and how the recording is to be authenticated if it is allowed,” said the court.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Deepak Khosla, whose petition will remain pending till a larger bench takes a decision on it.

The issue “cannot be decided by this bench for itself. The matter be put up before Chief Justice Dipak Misra by March 4″, said the court.

Justice Dhingra suggested that it was high time that the court and state should consider introduction of authenticated audio or video recording of the proceeding in all courts more specifically in district courts.

“In my view, audio or video recording shall help smooth functioning of the district courts where district judges and civil judges work in adverse circumstances and do not have power of contempt,” Justice Dhingra said.

“This will also discipline not only the judges who do not come courts in time but also discipline the advocates and litigants who many a time try to obtain order from court by show of force, more specifically, when an advocate is an accused before the court and the entire bar surrounds the judge,” the court said.

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