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Installation of CCTVs in all police stations and Central probe agencies – Supreme Court Directs States/UTs

In order to check police brutality, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered, the Centre, states and union territories to install CCTVs with night vision cameras in each police station, in the offices of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigating Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) & any other agency which carries out interrogation and has power of arrest.

“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. In addition, the Union of India is also directed to install CCTV cameras and recording equipment in the offices of CBI, NIA, ED, NCB, DRI, SFIO and any other agency which carries out interrogations and has the power of arrest. State and Union Territory Governments should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in each and every police station.” – Supreme Court

The judgment was delivered by a Bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, KM Joseph and Aniruddha Bose in a case. The CCTV installation was revived by the top court following a case of custodial torture in Punjab.

It said CCTV camera footage should be stored in digital video recorders and/or network video recorders. Importantly, the recording system should be such that the data stored therein is preserved for 18 months.

The Supreme Court has passed directions for constitution of “Oversight Committees” at the State (State Level Oversight Committee) and District (District Level Oversight Committee) level for ongoing installation and maintenance of CCTVs in Police Stations across all UTs and States while it directed Finance Departments of all UTs and States to allocate fund for it.