IEP New Delhi, November, 24
Justice Arun Mishra, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India today expressed concern that all State and UT police organizations are still not fully compliant with the Supreme Court directions for the installation of CCTV cameras having audio recording and night vision at every police station with 18th month storage of the recordings. He was chairing a meeting to discuss the measures to be taken to ensure the proper working of the CCTVs at police stations with data backup. Justice Mishra said that transparency in policing should be the hallmark of law & order management. He said that the Commission 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. 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 & order system by holding discussions with police organizations and different stakeholders. NHRC Members, Dr. D.M. Mulay, Mr. Rajiv Jain, Secretary General, Mr. D.K. Singh, Director General (Inv.), Mr. Manoj Yadava, Registrar (Law), Mr. Surajit Dey, Joint Secretary, Mr. H.C. Chaudhary, DIG, Mr. Sunil Kumar Meena, SSP, Mr. Anupam Sharma as well as the senior police officers from Gurugram, Faridabad, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Gautam Budh Nagar, and Ghaziabad participated in the discussions. The meeting was organized by the Commission in follow up to the inspections of 32 police stations by its Investigation Team in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Jhajjar, and Sonepat districts of Haryana, Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad districts of Uttar Pradesh in the backdrop of a case of suicide by an under trial 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 NHRC inspection found that : Ø 19 police stations inspected in UP and Haryana are installed with 2-4 CCTV cameras;Ø 13 police stations inspected in Delhi have 10 cameras with DVR/N-DVR;Ø 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;Ø Some senior police officers were not aware of the working of CCTV system;Ø CCTV cameras are not installed at appropriate location;.Ø 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;Ø The standard data storage for CCTVs in all police stations was 15-75 days (without audio);Ø 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.Ø There was no budgetary provision for maintenance of CCTV cameras at P.S level;Ø 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.