CCTVs In Police Stations: Govt Finally Forms Panels

Representational Photo

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted two committees regarding CCTVs in police stations which on December 2 last year were directed by Supreme Court of India to be set up within six weeks.

First committee is Union territory Level Oversight Committee and the second District Level Oversight Committee (s).

The UT level is headed by Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department and its members include Director General of Police, J&K, Member Secretary, Mission Director, ICPS/SRCW, Social Welfare Department and Additional Secretary to the Government, Finance Department.

Its terms of reference includes to purchase and monitor distribution and installation of CCTVs and related equipments; to arrange budgetary allocation for the purpose; to continuously monitor the maintenance and upkeep of CCTVs and allied equipment; to carry out inspections and address the grievances received from the DLOC and to call for monthly reports from the DLOC and immediately address any concerns like faulty equipment.

“The Committee shall be serviced by the Home Department and shall co-opt any officers) as member(s) as deemed appropriate,” reads an order by the government. District Level Oversight Committee (s) comprises of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir/Jammu, Chairperson(s) of the District Development Council(s), District Magistrate(s) and Superintendents) of Police.

The committee is to supervise the maintenance of CCTVs and related equipments; continuously monitor their upkeep and seek inputs in this regard from the concerned Station House Officers (SHOs); send monthly reports to the UTLOC about the functioning of CCTVs and allied equipments and to review footage stored from CCTVs in the various Police Stations to check for any human rights violation that may have occurred but are not reported.

“The DLOCs may co-opt any officers) as member(s) as deemed appropriate,” the order added.

As per the apex court’s orders the State and Union Territory Governments should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in each and every Police Station functioning in the respective State and/or Union Territory. Further, in order to ensure that no part of a Police Station is left uncovered, it is imperative to ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at all entry and exit points; main gate of the police station; all lock-ups; all corridors; lobby/the reception area; all verandas/outhouses, Inspector's room; Sub Inspector's room; areas outside the lock-up room; station hall; in front of the police station compound; outside (not inside) washrooms/toilets; Duty Officer’s room; back part of the police station etc.

“Whenever there is information of force being used at police stations resulting in serious injury and/or custodial deaths, it is necessary that persons be free to complain for a redressal of the same,” the top court had said.

Such complaints may not only be made to the State Human Rights Commission, which is then to utilise its powers, more particularly under Sections 17 and 18 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, for redressal of such complaints, but also to Human Rights Courts, which must then be set up in each District of every State/Union Territory under Section 30 of the Act, the court said.

“The Commission/Court can then immediately summon CCTV camera footage in relation to the incident for its safe keeping, which may then be made available to an investigation agency in order to further process the complaint made to it.” (GNS)

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