Young Lawyers Plead For Mandatory Use of Mic-Systems In SC
A group of young lawyers has written to the Chief Justice of India saying that judges must makes use of the microphone systems installed at their desks. Whistle for Public Interest (WHIP), a group of practising lawyers and law students who use the Right to Information Act of 2005 to promote transparency and accountability, contend that the proceedings of the court are hardly audible to lawyers, litigants and even journalists present in the room as judges do not switch on the microphone kept in front of them.
WHIP’s Paras Jain told The Quint: As law intern, litigant, lawyer, we faced a great difficulty in transpiring the Court Proceedings in overcrowded Court Rooms.
Due to limited space in the Court Rooms, General Public is not allowed to observe the Court Proceedings. In this situation, Media persons, whose reports are the only primary resource for the General Public to access the Court Rooms, also find the same difficulty in reporting the Court Proceedings particularly in the matters where larger public interest is involved.Paras Jain of WHIP to The Quint
“This difficulty exasperates more painful situation for us, being the public spirited law students and lawyers, as mic-system is already in place both at the Bench of the Judges and the place earmarked for the Lawyers to argue,” Jain said.
The representation by WHIP states:
It is very painful to note that despite a considerable amount of public money being incurred in the installation and replacement of Mic-System in Court Rooms, the Supreme Court of India has now been not able to ensure its use of proper administration. The non-usage of already installed Mic-System in all Court Rooms unfortunately amounts to wastage of precious Public Money.WHIP to the CJI
According to RTIs filed by WHIP, it has been found that Mic/PA systems are “an inherent part of the Court Rooms infrastructure and has been in existence since the time of inception.” Furthermore, it was also found that neither any order, nor any recording of PA system is available. The RTIs also reveal that over Rs 91 lakh was spent on replacement of the mic systems.
WHIP thus contends that mic systems are an inherent part of the courtroom infrastructure and should hence be used for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The plea asks the CJI to start the use of microphones within a ‘reasonable period’ of two weeks, failing which WHIP shall see its request as declined.