30 July 2022 4:35 AM GMT
A Delhi Court has directed the Director General of Prisons, Tihar to install CCTV cameras inside offices of Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent in order to dispel false allegations by inmates regarding beating at the hands of jail officials. Additional Sessions Judge Sonu Agnihotri of Saket Courts was dealing with a plea filed by an inmate Monu alleging that he was beaten inside the...
A Delhi Court has directed the Director General of Prisons, Tihar to install CCTV cameras inside offices of Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent in order to dispel false allegations by inmates regarding beating at the hands of jail officials.
Additional Sessions Judge Sonu Agnihotri of Saket Courts was dealing with a plea filed by an inmate Monu alleging that he was beaten inside the office of Deputy Superintendent of Tihar Jail for over an hour after being tied on an Iron Jhoolla in March this year.
The Court noted that allegations qua beating of inmate Monu in Tihar jail had surfaced twice in office of Deputy Superintendent and that similar allegations had been raised in other cases as well.
The Court was of the view that the installation of CCTV Cameras in offices of senior jail officials would not only dispel any false allegations against them but also reflect transparency in functioning of such offices.
"This court is not insisting on audio recording in these offices but even if dignitaries visit these offices with regard to their official functioning, the same should not be a reason not to install the same in these offices," the Court said.
It added "Further, ultimate control of these CCTV cameras will remain in hands of jail authorities and no outside person without permission of jail authorities will be able to see the same in a routine manner. In case, allegations of beating of UTPs again come inside these offices, truth will come to the fore easily. Lot of precious time of courts around Delhi will be saved and lot of time and energy of jail authorities will also be saved by installation of CCTV cameras inside offices of Superintendent /Deputy Superintendent."
The DGP of Tihar Jail told Court that installing CCTV cameras in rooms of Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent would not be advisable as these rooms are often use to host dignitaries and visitors including Judicial Officers and Senior Government Officers who visit Jails and have meeting with the jail officials.
It was also stated that CCTV cameras have been installed in each corner of the gallery area of the Administrative Block as well as control room thereby properly covering outer area of these rooms. It was added that in case any untoward incident occurs in any such rooms, the same can be easily judged from already installed CCTV cameras outside.
"If dignitaries / Judges / Senior Government Officers visit Jail and offices of Superintendent /Deputy Superintendent are used to host them, this cannot be a reason not to install CCTV cameras inside such offices. So far as interrogation of inmates by police officials / legal interviews of inmates is concerned, it should also not be a reason for not getting installed CCTV cameras in offices of Superintendent /Deputy Superintendent concerned," the Court said.
It added "Now a days, proceedings of courts not only at subordinate level but also of highest court of the Country can be viewed by general public while sitting in comfort of their houses which fact reflects nothing but transparency in functioning of courts around India."
The Court added that while it was not insisting on audio recording in the offices, it added that even if dignitaries visit for their official functioning, the same should not be a reason not to install the same in these offices.
The Court thus called for a compliance report to be filed by the DGP on August 29, the next date of hearing. It also directed the concerned Jail Superintendent to produce CCTV footage regarding incident as alleged by inmate Monu.