Request for permission to video record the hearings where I appear as Advocate/Counsel.


*Read this letter of Sri. Nedumpara dt. 13th Nov 2010*


404/405, Bolivian Alts, “A” Wing, Bhakti Park, Wadala (E), Mumbai 400037, India
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Mathews J. Nedumpara, Advocate
Mrs. Rohini M. Amin, Advocate
Robin Majumdar, Advocate

13th November, 2010

1) Hon’ble Shri Mohit S. Shah,
Chief Justice,
High Court of Judicature at Bombay,
Mumbai 400 032.

Also to

2) Hon’ble Shri S.H. Kapadia,
Chief Justice of India,
Supreme Court of India,
Tilak Marg,
New Delhi 110 001

3) Hon’ble Sri Veerappa Moily,
Minister for Law & Justice,
Government of India,
Jaisalmer House,
26, Man Singh Road,
New Delhi 110 011.

4) Hon’ble Shri K. Sankaranarayan,
Governor of Maharashtra,
Raj Bhavan,
Mumbai 400 035.

5) Hon’ble Shri Prithviraj Chavan,
Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
Mantralaya, Mumbai 400 032.

Hon’ble Sirs,

Sub: Request for permission to video record the hearings where I appear as Advocate/Counsel.

Ref: My letter dated 14th August, 2010 addressed to the President of India and other high dignitaries, including Your Lordship on introduction of modern science and technology to Court Rooms.

National Lawyers Campaign for Transparency and Reforms is an Association of a few lawyers in different parts of the country initiated to contribute their mite to bring in transparency in the administration of justice as also reforms, which is the need of the hour. The instant letter is one such small step.

2. I invite the kind attention of Your Lordship to my letter dated 14th August, 2010 addressed to Her Excellency, the President of India, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and various other high dignitaries, including Your Lordship, to introduce modern science and technology to Court Rooms so that access to justice is made simple, easy and transparent. However, the said letter still remains un-responded to, not even a courtesy to acknowledge. I had also requested Your Lordship’s predecessors for introduction of modern science and technology in Court Rooms and in particular introducing filing of cases through electronic media so that the agonizing scene of even aged, disabled and sick persons being forced to attend the Court many a times in the course of litigation to affirm one affidavit or another and made to wait for long hours and often being illtreated by Court Staff could be brought to an end. I also passionately pleaded with Your Lordship’s predecessors, though without any avail, as also to Your Lordship to at least video record the proceedings in the First Court as a first measure and in due course all the Courts so that the perception is erased that the Hon’ble Judges of the High Court do not treat all lawyers equally and that Senior Counsel and celebrities are given better treatment than junior members of the bar and those from far off places of Maharashtra are not given patient hearing with the result that justice is available to the rich and mighty who could afford prohibitively expensive Counsel and the poor and downtrodden are denied justice.

3. There is also a perception that creamy commercial lawyers have advantage over the ordinary lot of lawyers coming from mofussils with Marathi or Hindi medium as the background who do not receive equal treatment. The terminology used, I am afraid to say, to those lawyers who enjoy such advantage is “face value”. I am afraid to say that I belong to still a worst category. I come from far off Kerala, an outsider to be frowned upon. The purpose of this letter is not to ventilate my personal grievance, though I certainly very strongly feel about it. Since I hail from Kerala and principally practice in Cochin and since I enjoy diversity and experience, I take up work and appear before various Courts of the country, including DRT and Civil Courts in Tirupur, Coimbatore, High Court of Madras, High Court of Bombay, High Court of Delhi, DRT, Mumbai and occasionally even in Supreme Court. At many places I am treated as if I am a guest. Here, in Mumbai, too Hon’ble Judges like R.M. Lodha and H.L. Gokhale, now Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court, have been very kind and nice to me; have heard me patiently and never treated me as a foreigner. I am afraid to say that some of the Hon’ble Judges of the High Court of Bombay have been very unfair to me. In cases even where I have raised important legal and constitutional issues, which needed patient hearing and deliberation, I have not been allowed to raise my contentions and have been curtly restrained from arguing. With great pain I wish to add that wherever such illtreatment was meted out to me, I sought redressal by taking up the matter in writing and otherwise with the Hon’ble Chief Justice.

4. I repeat that the purpose of the instant letter is not to ventilate the injustice and injury suffered by me or seek redressal thereof. I am writing this letter with a much nobler cause in mind. I take up issues where I feel that injustice has been caused as I consider it is my duty to raise it even while I am certain that I may fall to the disgrace of the Hon’ble Judges; even invite hostility and it may affect the fate of my case. But keeping the larger perspective in mind, the personal suffering which I might invite by taking larger public issues concerning the cause of judiciary is something very trivial. I certainly am aware that the request which I make to permit me to video record the proceedings where I appear as an Advocate/Counsel will be opposed, ridiculed and even seen as eccentric. Every innovation or move for reform is always ridiculed, condemned, opposed and finally accepted. Since the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Bombay has the good luck to have a graceful, learned and open-minded Chief Justice as I find in Your Lordship, my apprehension that my present request for permission to video record the hearing of the cases in which I appear will not be seen as a letter at the hands of a meddlesome lawyer, but as a humble effort at the hands of a crusader for reform. The words expressed by a very upright and learned Judge, Hon’ble Shri Justice R. Basant of the High Court of Kerala, in Bhagwant Singh v. State of Kerala, 2008 (4) KLT 1047, give enormous moral courage and support to the request I hereby make, a demand for greater transparency.

5. I have zero practical knowledge of the manner in which proceedings of Courts in advanced democracies are conducted. But the little investigation I could make through the medium of internet makes me believe that such video recording is almost the order of the day and in many Courts the entire Court proceedings are recorded and is available to the public at large. I am sure, not only I may be permitted to record the hearing where I appear as an Advocate/Counsel before Your Lordship or any other Courts in the near future, but also that Your Gracious Self may consider the feasibility of video recording the proceedings of all the Courts as also bring in science and technology, particularly e-filing, as the first step.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Mathews J. Nedumpara,

Copy to: The Press.