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Delhi Police says CCTVs already installed at stations don’t have audio recording facility, HC seeks MHA stand

In response to an order seeking compliance of the apex court directions, police told the court that it had already installed 2,127 CCTV cameras having night vision capability with video storage capacity for up to 30 days in 192 police stations and 53 chowkis.

The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure compliance of the Supreme Court order on installation of cameras in police stations. (File Photo)

Following the Delhi Police’s admission that CCTV cameras at its stations and posts in the national capital do not have audio recording facility, the Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure compliance of the Supreme Court order on installation of cameras in police stations.

In response to an order seeking compliance of the apex court directions, police told the court that it had already installed 2,127 CCTV cameras having night vision capability with video storage capacity for up to 30 days in 192 police stations and 53 chowkis.

“Total 10 CCTV cameras are installed in each police station and 4/5 cameras in each police post, depending upon the size of the post, covering all essential places of the police station/police post building(s). However, the CCTV system already installed in police stations and police posts (chowkis), presently, do not have audio recording facility,” police said.

Justice Anu Malhotra in an order said it is “essential” that directions passed by the Supreme Court in December 2020 are complied with, and listed the matter for hearing on September 27.

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The court has passed the direction in a case alleging that a complainant was allegedly threatened and harassed by certain private people in front of police officials at Nabi Karim police station in May. The petition prayed for preservation of the CCTV footage of the incident. The court was told CCTV cameras do not have the audio recording facility.

Advocate Sufian Siddiqui, representing the petitioner, had argued before the court, “To preserve and uphold the primacy of ‘Rule of Law’, to protect the sacrosanct fundamental rights of the common man and to restore their faith in the functioning of the Delhi Police, it is expedient that the court’s directions are complied with on an exigent basis.”

Police in its reply has told the court that following the Supreme Court’s order, the Commissioner of Police had constituted a committee of senior police officers to examine the matter expeditiously and give its recommendations.

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The Committee, in its report in 2021, had said there is a requirement of 2,175 CCTV cameras in addition to the existing ones, and that microphones can be provided to the existing cameras for simultaneous audio recording.

“However, 416 days shall be required to implement the project,” the committee had said.

The estimated cost for implementation of the Supreme Court’s directions was calculated to be Rs 81.55 crore. The proposal is currently pending with the MHA for obtaining approval for scrapping the earlier tender and for inviting fresh tender, as per the police reply before the court.

First published on: 09-08-2022 at 06:56:38 pm
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