Allowing cameras in courtroom - Pros and Cons
Supreme Court rejected several PILs earlier about allowing video recording of courtroom proceedings. There were various grounds on which SC kept on ignoring the pleas until recently when it saw that there is no escaping and dodging this question anymore. SC has recently said that it would begin with installing CCTV cameras in one district court in each state. The first of the experiments is to be carried out in Gurgaon district court.
A survey in 2016 showed that about 97% of citizens wanted video recording of courtroom trails to ensure fair proceedings to the petitioner. However, some people are of the view that certain cases would be better left unrecorded to avoid embarrassment to the victim.Pros1. Right to know
Most of the time, there are PILs filed for RTI on the proceedings of the case. People have the right to know how justice is delivered. It is a democratic nation, where legal proceedings should be open to everyone wanting to view it. Crying foul over a judgement has become so common that it is only fair that people get to see how things proceed in a courtroom.2. More faith in judiciary
People have lost hope in the judicial system of the country. They would rather settle it outside than take it to court with the anticipation that justice will either be delayed or denied. When the proceedings are open, things will become more transparent and people will develop confidence in the judiciary. More and more people will find it easy to understand that it is easier said than done in courtrooms.3. Taking example
Law students from across the nation, the future of Indian judiciary shall have access to all landmark courtroom proceedings at a click. They will be able to understand better and bring changes that are highly required to make things easier and simpler for common people.4. Evidences
The crime that has been proven in one court is not very evident when the convict takes it to a higher court. This leads to an entire beginning of the case where the questioning and proving of evidences is done all over again. When there is video evidence of the past proceedings, it will be a more reliable source to depend upon and take the case forward instead of sticking to the old point.5. Better judgement
When lawyers know that they are being recorded and this could taint their image for future career, they will be more careful with their proceedings and there will not be this much delay in deciding upon a case.Cons1. Embarrassing
There are embarrassing questions asked during a trail and even the innocent are tainted in every possible way in order to prove otherwise. Even when they are proven innocent, the videos would start doing rounds and remind them of the awkwardness. This could get really uncomfortable for rape victims or innocents framed in such cases. If video recording is done, there will be leaked videos too.2. Protecting identity
If video recordings are done, it will be impossible to protect the identity of victim or convict, both of whom will face accusatory judgements of the society which basically believes that anyone dragged into court has done something wrong.3. It won’t speed judgement
The delay in judgement is not because the judiciary is unfair or corrupt; it is mainly because the laws have loopholes through which the convict even when proven guilty escapes. Until the laws the revised, there is no use of devising measures such as recorded courtroom trials.
The matter is still under experiment. Whether or not courtroom trials will be recorded shall be decided only after the experiments prove successful and bear complete security to the identity of the people pleading or defending.