With nothing wrong with having CCTV cameras inside classrooms as no private activity is carried out there, the Delhi High Court said Thursday, dismissing claims that children’s right to privacy would be affected.
“The concerns of privacy have to be balanced with safety of children,” a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao said, adding that parents often accuse teachers of not teaching and, therefore, the cameras in classrooms will show the correct picture.
The observations were made by the bench while hearing a PIL against the Delhi government’s proposal to install over 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras at classrooms in its schools.
Advocate Jai Dehadrai, appearing for petitioner Daniel George, urged the bench to issue an interim direction that procurement of the cameras be put on hold.
He argued that it was not healthy to have cameras inside classrooms where children, including girls, often discuss personal things.
However, the bench rejected the plea for interim relief, saying that nothing private happens in classrooms, and that even the Supreme Court is proposing to have CCTV cameras to record court proceedings.
“Every good thing that happens has to be challenged by someone,” it added.
Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose, submitted that feed from the cameras would be password -protected and accessible to parents, and not strangers.
He also said that a standard operating procedure for using the cameras will be formulated, and the petitioner will be able to give his suggestions too.
The submission was made as the petition had contended that installing cameras without any regulatory mechanism on access to its footage could lead to incidents of stalking and molestation.
The petitioner, who claims to be involved in the field of education awareness, has also sought that a feasibility test be held amongst the target population of students and teachers to understand the issues they face when it comes to surveillance.