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Sajib Nandi

Footage from CCTV cameras in courtrooms outside RTI: Supreme Court

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Sajib Nandi

The SC barred access of the video footage to lawyers, litigants and general public through the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

 

"We may make it clear that footage of the CCTV cameras will not be available under the RTI Act and will not be supplied to anyone without the permission of the concerned high court. Installation may be completed within three months from today," the bench ordered.

 

Read more at: SC takes first step towards video recording of court trial | India News - Times of India

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Prasad GLN

Still there is a scope:

will not be supplied to anyone without the permission of the concerned high court.

This is important, as several Judges in lower court still adjourn the proceedings, even without calling the client, and mark the party as absent, even when he is very much present at the court (may be at extreme end and not within audible distance of such calling)

Another most important thing is taking attendance through bio metric for the parties and advocates also, and display of cases,adjournment through LED immediately.

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Sajib Nandi

India’s top legal rights organization, Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), has taken strong exception to the Supreme Court “direction” that “CCTV video coverage will be beyond the reach of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.”

 

Read more at: COUNTERVIEW: CCTV in courts outside RTI purview, sans sound recording is against transparency: CJAR on Supreme Court order

 

 

Also read:

 

SC Order On CCTV Cameras In Courts; CJAR Seeks More Steps For Transparency

SC Order On CCTV Cameras In Courts; CJAR Seeks More Steps For Transparency [Read the Statement] | Live Law

 

The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) has issued a statement demanding more transparency in judicial accountability and reforms. This statement was issued in light of the Supreme Court order in Pradyuman Bisht v Union of India, passed on Tuesday, directing the installation of CCTV cameras in trial courts on an experimental basis.

 

 

Lawyers cheer Supreme Court’s order of CCTV in courts

http://www.asianage.com/metros/mumbai/310317/lawyers-cheer-supreme-courts-order-of-cctv-in-courts.html

 

Advocates and lawyers of the Bombay high court welcomed the Supreme Court’s order to install CCTV cameras in at least two district courts under every high court. They said its time the Indian judiciary brought down the walls of privacy and opened it for public. The lawyers said that like in the US where special channels are set-up to airing court proceedings, it should be done in India too. The lawyers opine that it will bring in transparency and give the common man an insight into court proceedings.

 

 

Footage from CCTV cameras in courtrooms outside RTI: Supreme Court

https://www.rtiindia.org/forum/181567-footage-cctv-cameras-courtrooms-outside-rti-supreme.html

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Sajib Nandi

Did the Supreme Court take two steps forward and one back while ordering that CCTV cameras be installed in courtrooms in at least two districts of every state within the next three months?

 

The decision raised eyebrows in the legal fraternity, with several lawyers saying on condition of anonymity that video recording of statements recorded by the police at police stations would have been far more useful.

 

But what raised the hackles of activists was the court’s decision to keep the video recording outside the purview of the Right to Information Act. What is more, the recording would be without the audio.

 

Read more at: Without RTI and audio records, CCTV in courtrooms no big deal

 

 

Also read:

CCTV in courts outside RTI purview, sans sound recording is against transparency: CJAR on Supreme Court order

https://www.rtiindia.org/forum/181609-cctv-courts-outside-rti-purview-sans-sound.html

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karira

[h=1]SC to examine audio/video recordings of higher courts proceeding[/h]NEW DELHI: After being reluctant for years for audio/video recording of court proceedings, the Supreme Court on Monday favoured installing of CCTV cameras in all courts including apex court to record the proceedings after the Centre also backed the proposal.

 

 

The apex court and various high courts had repeatedly rejected the plea of audio/video recordings. In 2015, a Supreme Court bench headed by the CJI H L Dattu dismissed a PIL seeking its direction for video-recording of court proceedings. "You want to put CCTV in the court? Right now what ever we discuss in the innermost chamber is out there in the public. What we discuss among judges in the Collegium meetings are also out in public. There is no need for CCTV," the bench had said.

 

Read More: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/after-lower-court-sc-to-examine-audio/video-recordings-of-higher-courts-proceeding/articleshow/60062081.cms

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karira

Attached is the judgment of the Supreme Court wherein it has ordered that there should be Audio/Video recording even in Tribunals.

 

However, it has also said that such recordings will not be disclosed under RTI.

 

Cannot understand as to how Supreme Court can do this ?

 

1. Barring a category/type of "information" under RTI means that the Supreme Court is adding to the existing

exemptions contained in Sec 8 of the Act.

That means basically it is amending the Act itself.

An Act passed by parliament can only be amended by parliament.

How can the SC order any such amendment (even in disguise) ?

 

2. All court proceedings are in Open Court. This means that anyone present in the court can "see" and also

"hear" what is going on.

A CCTV system basically records what one is "seeing" and "hearing".

If a person physically present in Court is allowed such "information", then how can it be denied to someone

who was not present in Court (but applied under RTI) ?

 

Very very strange and unexplained by the SC.

Supreme Court Audio Video Recording in Tribunals.pdf

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Hemantkumar
Attached is the judgment of the Supreme Court wherein it has ordered that there should be Audio/Video recording even in Tribunals.

 

However, it has also said that such recordings will not be disclosed under RTI.

 

Cannot understand as to how Supreme Court can do this ?

 

1. Barring a category/type of "information" under RTI means that the Supreme Court is adding to the existing

exemptions contained in Sec 8 of the Act.

That means basically it is amending the Act itself.

An Act passed by parliament can only be amended by parliament.

How can the SC order any such amendment (even in disguise) ?

 

2. All court proceedings are in Open Court. This means that anyone present in the court can "see" and also

"hear" what is going on.

A CCTV system basically records what one is "seeing" and "hearing".

If a person physically present in Court is allowed such "information", then how can it be denied to someone

who was not present in Court (but applied under RTI) ?

 

Very very strange and unexplained by the SC.

 

Dear Sir,

 

I agree with your analysis.

 

Regards

Hemant Kumar

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Prasad GLN

Hope the following order may throw some light on their version:

"

We have also directed that the R.T.I provisions will not apply to CCTV camera recordings in our Order dated 28.03.2017.

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  • Similar Content

    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.
    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION




      Appeal No.ICPB/A-1/CIC/2006


      Right to Information Act – Sections 6/18

      Name of Appellant : Satyapal
      Name of Public Authority : CPIO, TCIL

      DECISION


      Decisions appealed against :
       
       
      The CPIO, TCIL has declined to supply a copy of a document on the ground that the same forms part of “file Noting” which, according to CPIO is exempt under the RTI Act. Appellate authority also has confirmed the decision of the CPIO. The appellant contents that he has the right to seek information contained in the “File Notings”.
      Facts
      Shri Satyapal – appellant, a resident of Delhi, applied to the CPIO, TCIL seeking for copies of certain documents by a letter dated 17th October, 2005. By a letter dated 14th November, 2005, CPIO, TCIL furnished copies of certain documents, however, stating that a particular document sought for was a file noting in the Department of Telecom and as such it was exempt from disclosure. By a letter dated 17th Nov. 2005, Shri Satyapal again wrote to the CPIO, TCIL pointing out that the information sought for by him did not fall within the ambit of Section 8 of the RTI Act and as such the same should be supplied. He also brought to the notice of CPIO, TCIL that in respect of information already furnished, a copy of a bill in respect of advertisement relating to independence day 1996 had not been supplied. By a letter dated 28th Nov. 2005, the CPIO, TCIL while furnishing a copy of the bill, once again reiterated that file notings are exempt from disclosure in terms of the clarification given by the Department of Personnel in their website. Aggrieved by this decision, Shri Satyapaul preferred an appeal to the appellate authority by a letter dated 14th Dec. 2005 stating that file notings are not exempt from disclosure in terms of Section 8 of the RTI Act. He followed up the same by letters dated 14th Dec., 31st Dec. 2005 and 5th January, 2006. The appellate authority by a letter dated 5.1.2006 rejected the appeal stating “The information sought by you pertains to the file notings of the Department of Telecommunication as also that of TCIL. I am of the view that TCIL is exempted from disclosing the information sought by you under Section 8(1)(d)&(e) of the RTI Act. UO No.7-17/95-PP dated 4.10.1995 is a part of file notings. You have mentioned in your appeal that the information has been denied misconstruing it as “file notings” by CPIO, TCIL. I confirm that these are notings in the file”. Aggrieved with the decision of the appellate authority, Shri Satyapal has filed this appeal before this Commission. According to Shri Satyapal, there is no specific exemption from disclosure as far as file notings are concerned in Section 8 of RTI Act.
      Commission’s Decision :
      It is seen that while the CPIO declined to furnish the information sought for on the ground that file notings are exempt from disclosure, the appellate authority, without confirming or rejecting the stand of CPIO that file notings are exempt from disclosure, has relied on Section 8(1)(d) and (e) of the RTI Act to deny the information.
      As is evident from the Preamble to the RTI Act, the Act has been enacted to vest with the citizens, the right of access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of any public authority. Conscious of the fact that access to certain information may not be in the public interest, the Act also provides certain exemptions from disclosure. Whether file notings fall within the exempted class is the issue for consideration.
      Section 2(f) defines information as “Any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinion, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law or the time being in force”.
      Section 2(j) reads : “Right to information means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to (i) inspection of work, documents, records; (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of document or records; (iii) …… (iv) …. “. In terms of Section 2(i) “Record” includes (a) any documents, manuscript and file;
      In the system of functioning of public authorities, a file is opened for every subject/matter dealt with by the public authority. While the main file would contain all the materials connected with the subject/matter, generally, each file also has what is known as note sheets, separate from but attached with the main file. Most of the discussions on the subject/matter are recorded in the note sheets and decisions are mostly based on the recording in the note sheets and even the decisions are recorded on the note sheets. These recordings are generally known as “file notings”. Therefore, no file would be complete without note sheets having “file notings”. In other words, note sheets containing “file notings” are an integral part of a file. Some times, notings are made on the main file also, which obviously would be a part of the file itself. In terms of Section 2(i), a record includes a file and in terms of Section 2(j) right to information extends to accessibility to a record. Thus, a combined reading of Sections 2(f), (i)&(j) would indicate that a citizen has the right of access to a file of which the file notings are an integral part. If the legislature had intended that “file notings” are to be exempted from disclosure, while defining a “record” or “file” it could have specifically provided so. Therefore, we are of the firm view, that, in terms of the existing provisions of the RTI Act, a citizen has the right to seek information contained in “file notings” unless the same relates to matters covered under Section 8 of the Act. Thus, the reliance of the CPIO, TCILO on the web site clarification of the Department of Personnel to deny the information on the basis that ‘file notings’ are exempted, is misplaced.
      However, it is seen from the decision of the appellate authority that he was of the view that TCIL was exempted from disclosing the information sought, under Section 8(1)(d)&(e) of RTI Act. In terms of Section 8, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen information relating to matters covered under subsections (a) to (j) of that Section. Section 8(d) exempts information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property and Sub section (e) exempts information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship. Even then, at the discretion of the competent authority even these information could be disclosed if he is of the opinion that public interest so warrants. From the decision of the appellate authority of TCIL, which is not a speaking one, it is not clear whether the file notings, a copy of which was denied to the appellant, relate to commercial confidence or trade secret or intellectual property or is available to TCIL in its fiduciary relationship.
      Direction :
      Since we have held that file notings are not, as a matter of law, exempt from disclosure, the CPIO, TCIL is directed to furnish the information contained in the file notings, on or before 15.2.2006 to the appellant. However, if the CPIO, TCIL is still of the opinion that the said file notings are exempt under Section 8(d) & (e), he is at liberty to place the file notings before the Commission on 13.2.2006 at 11 AM to determine whether the same is exempt under these sections and even if so, whether disclosure of the same would be in the public interest or not.
      Let a copy of this decision be sent to CPIO, TCIL and the appellant.


      Sd/-




      (Padma Balasubramanian)




      Information Commissioner




      Sd/-




      (Wajahat Habibullah)



      Chief Information Commissioner


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