SC again insists on CCTV cameras in all police stations

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 12/3/2020 10:54:53 AM

NEW DELHI, Dec 2: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the state governments not fulfilling its 2018 direction to install the CCTV (close circuit television) cameras in all police stations across the country and directed them statements of the witnesses recorded by police should be compulsorily videographed.
A Bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, K M Joseph and Anirudh Bose directed all state governments to file affidavits in the matter. It also asked senior advocate Siddharth Dave, amicus curiae (friend of court) appointed to assist the court to submit a comprehensive note by Friday on the question of preserving the CCTV footage for more than 45 days.
It ordered affidavits to be filed within six weeks, giving a firm action plan to exact timelines for compliance of its order. It also ruled that the CCTV footage should be preserved for not less than 18 months and the victim has a right to secure it in the event of violation of his human rights.
The Court also directed the Centre to install the CCTV cameras and recording equipment compulsorily in the offices of all its six agencies that carry out interrogations and hold the accused in custody. It identified these agencies as: CBI, NIA, ED, Narcotics Control Bureau, Dept of Revenue Intelligence and Serious Fraud Investigation Office.
The Bench indicated that it may issue the detailed guidelines later in the day. On November 24, it had reserved order on the installation of the CCTV cameras in the police stations. On September 16, it had sought status of the CCTV camera installation by November 24.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had directed to install CCTV in every police station in the country to deal with the growing custody torture case. It, however, found during the hearing that its direction has remained in default.



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