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SC orders to install CCTV camers at all police stations, CBI, NCB, ED office

The apex court has issued this landmark order in a case related to installation of CCTV in police stations across the country. However, the case was highlighted before the Top court bench after the allegations of custodial torture in Punjab.

SC orders to install CCTV camers at all police stations, CBI, NCB, ED office
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday, December 2, ordered the Centre, states and union territories to install CCTVs with night vision cameras in each police station, and investigation agencies across India.

The Supreme Court has ordered the installation of CCTV cameras along with audio recordings in the offices of the CBI, NIA, Directorate of Enforcement, NCB, DRI and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office. In addition, all police stations in the state have been ordered to install CCTV cameras with audio recording facilities.

The apex court has issued this landmark order in a case related to installation of CCTV in police stations across the country. However, the case was highlighted before the Top court bench after the allegations of custodial torture in Punjab.

The three-judge bench headed by Justice Rohitna Fali Nariman directed the States and Union Territories governments to look into the compliance of the installation of the cameras with audio devices at the police stations in their state.

The order also stated that the cameras installed should include detailed coverage of the lock-ups, entries and exits of the station and interrogations rooms. In addition, CCTV cameras should be installed in lockups, corridors, lobbies, waiting rooms, sub-inspectors and inspectors’ rooms, outside the police station and outside the washroom. The court also ruled that the recording system should be able data up to 18 months.

The SHO of the police station concerned shall be responsible for the working, maintenance and recording of CCTVs, it added. The order further clarified stating that in areas without electricity and/or internet, the states/UTs have to provide the same as expeditiously as possible using any mode of providing electricity, including solar/wind power.

The bench of Justice RF Narimam, Justice KM Joseph and Justice Aniruddha Bose directed senior advocate Siddhartha Dabe, Amicus Curie to prepare a comprehensive note by Friday, December 4, on the question of safeguarding and consolidating CCTV footage for more than 45 days.

Moreover, the 12-page order asserted that the directions have to be executed within six weeks from the day of order.

The top court said in case of serious injury and/or custodial deaths, the injured persons are free to complain to the State Human Rights Commission as also to Human Rights Courts, which must then be set up in each district of every state/UY under Section 30 of the Human Rights Act.

The next hearing in reards to this case is slated for 27 January.

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