NHRC expresses concern over police forces not fully compliant with the SC directions on CCTV cameras, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

NHRC chairperson justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra on Thursday expressed concern that state and UT police organisations are “still not fully compliant” with the Supreme Court’s directions for installation of CCTV cameras having audio recording and night vision at every police station. He was chairing a meeting to discuss the measures to be taken to ensure proper working of the CCTVs at police stations with data backup, the National Human Rights Commission said in a statement.

Justice Mishra today “expressed concern that all state and UT police organisations are still not fully compliant with the Supreme Court’s directions for the installation of CCTV cameras having audio recording and night vision at every police station,” according to the statement

Transparency in policing should be the “hallmark of law and order management”, and the NHRC is willing to examine the scope of preparing an SOP, if necessary, with the help of police officers, experts, and other different stakeholders to see how the directions of the Supreme Court are implemented, he was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Let us improve the image of our police forces by cutting the scope of any misgivings about their functioning. He said that the aim of the NHRC is to improve the credibility of our police as well as the law and order system by holding discussions with police organizations and different stakeholders,” he said.

The meeting was organised by the NHRC in follow up to the inspections of 32 police stations by its investigation team in Delhi; Gurgaon, Faridabad, Jhajjar, and Sonepat districts of Haryana; and Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ghaziabad districts of Uttar Pradesh in the backdrop of a case of suicide by an undertrial prisoner in Tihar jail, which prompted the Commission to have a first-hand assessment of the condition of CCTV cameras in police stations in Delhi-NCR by randomly visiting them, the statement said.

The NHRC inspection found that 19 police stations inspected in UP and Haryana are “installed with 2-4 CCTV cameras” and “13 police stations inspected in Delhi have 10 cameras with DVR/N-DVR,” the statement said.

Many CCTV cameras installed by the police headquarters were not found in working condition. However, some police stations installed with cameras donated by companies under CSR were found working; and some senior police officers were not aware of the working of CCTV system, it said.

CCTV cameras were not installed at appropriate location, the NHRC had found in its inspection.

“There was no dedicated CCTV monitoring system available in the police stations. Most of the SHOs have deputed one constable to look after the CCTV system, but he is not trained enough; the standard data storage for CCTVs in all police stations was 15-75 days (without audio),” it added.

None of the SHOs had any knowledge regarding District Level Oversight Committee (DLOC) periodic maintenance and upkeep of CCTV and its equipment and also the budget provision; and there was “no budgetary provision” for maintenance of CCTV cameras at police station level, the statement said.

“No SHO carried out any periodic review of footage from CCTV to check any human rights violations. Therefore the basic requirement of installing these CCTV in police stations remained unproductive,” it said.

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