top of page

SC issues mandate to install CCTV cameras in all entry and exit points of a police station

The State and Union Territory Governments should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in each and every Police Station functioning in the respective State and/or Union Territory. Further, in order to ensure that no part of a Police Station is left uncovered, it is imperative to ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at all entry and exit points. (Para 16)



Paramvir Singh Saini Vs. Baljit Singh & Ors.

Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 3543 of 2020

Decided on December 02, 2020.


Counsels involved in the case: Shri K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India, Ms. Madhvi Divan, learned Addl. Solicitor General of India, Shri Siddhartha Dave, learned Senior Advocate (Amicus Curiae), Ms. Nitya Ramakrishnan, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the intervenor and the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respective States and Union Territories.


Justice R.F. Nariman, Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice Aniruddha Bose decided the present litigation and held that it is mandatory for States to ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in each and every functioning Police Station in the respective State/Union Territory.


In an order dated 16.09.2020, this Court impleaded all the States and Union Territories to find out the exact position of CCTV cameras at each Police Station as well as the constitution of Oversight Committees in accordance with the rrder dated 03.04.2018 of this Court in Shafhi Mohammad v. State of Himachal Pradesh, (2018) 5 SCC 311. 14 States filed Compliance Affidavits and Action Taken Reports, but most of it failed to disclose the number, working condition and exact position of the CCTVs, details regarding the total number of functioning police stations in every State, and also details with respect to the Oversight Committees. In furtherance of the matter, the constitution and obligations of the Oversight Committees, at the State (SLOC) and District Level (DLOC), were dealt with in detail by the Court. It noted that the duties of these committees could not be carried out without allocation of adequate funds and that it should be done by the States/Union Territories' Finance Departments at the very earliest.


The Court stated that the Station House Officer (SHO) is responsible for the working of the CCTVs, CCTV data maintenance, backup of data, fault rectification etc, and held:

The State and Union Territory Governments should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in each and every Police Station functioning in the respective State and/or Union Territory. Further, in order to ensure that no part of a Police Station is left uncovered, it is imperative to ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at all entry and exit points. (Para 16)


CCTV systems that have to be installed must be equipped with night vision and must necessarily consist of audio as well as video footage. In areas in which there is either no electricity and/or internet, it shall be the duty of the States/Union Territories to provide the same as expeditiously as possible using any mode of providing electricity, including solar/wind power. (Para 17)


The Court stated that it was mandatory for the States to purchase recording equipment which allows storage for the maximum period possible, in any case not less than a year. Further, the Court stated:

Whenever there is information of force being used at police stations resulting in serious injury and/or custodial deaths, it is necessary that persons be free to complain for a redressal of the same. Such complaints may not only be made to the State Human Rights Commission, which is then to utilise its powers, more particularly under Sections 17 and 18 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, for redressal of such complaints, but also to Human Rights Courts, which must then be set up in each District of every State/Union Territory under Section 30 of the aforesaid Act. The Commission/Court can then immediately summon CCTV camera footage in relation to the incident for its safe keeping, which may then be made available to an investigation agency in order to further process the complaint made to it. (Para 18)


The Court directed the Union of India to file an affidavit to update this Court regarding the Central Oversight Body and to install CCTV cameras in specific agencies that conduct investigation in their offices. The coverage of the concerned premises by CCTV shall be informed by way of large posters in English, Hindi and vernacular language.


The Court ordered all affidavits to be filed within a period of six weeks from the date of this judgment, to be done by all States and Union Territories and include the above details.



Jhanavi M

コメント


Articles

bottom of page