POLICE REFORMS – CCTV CAMERAS INSTALLATION
There are many instances in the past as well as present, where we can find false imprisonment, planting evidences, fake police report, custodial torture, custodial death, misbehavior, bribing and lobbying, search without warrant and seizure of property, etc. There is a great need to take action against it. In many judgments, the Courts have ordered to establish a controlling authority to look after all these issues and install CCTV Cameras. But, no serious steps were taken. Recently, in the case of Paramvir Singh Saini v. Baljit Singh, the Supreme Court ordered for the installation of CCTV Cameras and recording equipment in police stations and in offices of agencies where such interrogation and holding of accused takes place. This can protect the Fundamental Right i.e., Article 21 of the people either arrested by police or the people who came to complain about something. Right to Life also includes right to live a dignified life and these CCTV Cameras help to ensure, there will be no misbehavior, false cases, etc. from the side of police.
Technology has developed at lot. With the changing time, reform should be taken place in every field to ensure progress. To record the confessions of the accused, testimonies of the witnesses, dying declarations or the statement of victims, etc. video recording was made mandatory, to know the accuracy behind them, by comparing them with the statements made in the courts. Whenever there are any allegations against the police officers, then it can be investigated using the CCTV footage. If any such thing happens, then a complaint can also be made under the Sections 17 and 18 of the Human Right Act, 1993 in the Human Rights Commission. Then the Commission can refer the CCTV footage for investigating the issue. The Court has also referred the case of Shafhi Mohammad v. State of Himachal Pradesh, and directed the government to establish Central, State and District Level Oversight Committees.
In the case of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, similar orders were given, but there was some ambiguity regarding the positioning and record storing time of the CCTV footage. All the ambiguities are cleared in the case of Paramvir Singh Saini and the Supreme Court stated that, the CCTV cameras must be equipped with night vision and installed in all the premises of the police station or the investigation agencies and the record should be stored for 18 months. The Oversight Committees should check the footages and submit their reports monthly. The constitution of the members of the committees was also stated by the Court. The Court directed the Government and Police to follow the measures as soon as possible. Even though, this step should have been taken by the Executive Body a long time ago, since, it failed to do so, and a suit have been initiated regarding that issue, the Judiciary has to intervene and it took a great step to ensure the fundamental right (Article 21) of the people by the system of checks and balances.
Police Reforms – installation of CCTV Cameras by Velanati Jyothirmai @ Lex Cliq