Absence of CCTVs in Delhi police stations worries HC

NEW DELHI
20 Nov 2017

The alleged absence of 100 per cent CCTV coverage at different police stations of the city, today prompted the Delhi High Court to ask the AAP government why close circuit televisions have not been installed so far. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed that there was an order to install CCTVs at all police stations. "You (Delhi government) have not installed CCTVs since 2012-13. We (another bench of high court) ordered installation of CCTVs. There are lot of allegations against you (police). ... There should be recording facilities for CCTV footage also. Five years is long enough to do this," the bench noted. Delhi government's additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose said "it will be done."
The bench, however, transferred the matter before a bench which is already hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) initiated by the high court on the issue of women's safety after the December 16, 2012 gangrape of a young woman in a moving bus in the national capital. The petitioner has alleged that there have been several deaths inside police stations in the city this year and the presence of functional CCTVs could act as a deterrent. At an earlier hearing of the PIL, the court had ordered installation of CCTVs at police stations and vulnerable areas of the city. The bench listed the hearing on the PIL on December 11. One aspect being considered by the other bench is the installation of CCTV cameras at all police stations and 'chowkis' (posts) in the capital city.
Social activist Ajay Gautam has claimed that even the CCTV cameras installed at a few police stations were obsolete as they did not have the recording feature. Seeking direction to the authorities to put 192 police stations and 42 'chowkis' completely under CCTV surveillance with recording facilities, the plea said that these recordings should be saved for three months. Gautam contended that CCTVs were required in the police stations "to ensure transparency" in their functioning. He alleged that the conduct of the police on the issue highlights its "unplanned and casual approach", apart from "wastage of public money" by installing CCTVs without the recording feature.(PTI)