The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Delhi Government as well as the city police on installation of audio footage of CCTV cameras in a police station as per directions of the Supreme Court in Paramvir Singh Saini v. Baljit Singh & Others.
Justice Anu Malhotra sought the status report from the State while posting the matter for further hearing on July 27.
"…the respondent Nos.1 and 2 shall explain as to why the audio footage has not been installed so far and the compliance of the installation of the audio footage in terms of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Paramvir Singh Saini (Supra) be placed on record without default by the State for the next date of hearing," the Court ordered.
In the aforesaid judgment, the Supreme Court had expressly directed that the CCTVs have essentially to be installed in the Police Stations, lock-ups, corridors, lobbies, reception areas, outhouses, Inspector's rooms, Sub-Inspector's rooms, areas outside the lock-up rooms, station hall, in front of the police station compound outside (not inside), washrooms, Duty Officer's room, back part of the police station etc. It also said that the CCTV systems have to be equipped with night vision and must necessarily consist of audio as well as video footage.
The Court was dealing with a plea seeking directions on SHO, P.S. Nabi Karim to ensure strict compliance of the judgment dated August 17, 2020 passed by High Court by providing adequate Police protection to the petitioner in the discharge of his official and religious duties as an Imam of Masjid Dargah Hazrat Khwaja Baqi Billah, Paharganj, Delhi.
The plea also sought directions on the SHO to secure and preserve forthwith the CCTV footage both Audio and Video of cameras installed inside the Police Station, especially inside the room of the SHO, pertaining to the incident dated May 1, 2022 between 2 P.M to 7 P.M, in terms of the Supreme Court judgment.
It also sought the State to conduct an in-depth enquiry in a fair and impartial manner considering the principles of natural justice under the direct supervision of the DCP Vigilance or by a Police Officer of a higher rank on the incident which occurred inside the room of the SHO.
It was submitted by the State as well as the Police that that there were exaggerated submissions made in the plea and that there was only an exchange of hot words between the petitioner and the private respondents and rather the SHO had called both the parties o the Police Station for maintenance of peace and harmony between them at the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr.
It was also submitted on behalf of the State that the CCTV video footage of the Police Station Nabi Karim was already preserved. However, the Court was apprised that the audio footage of the day was not available.
Accordingly, seeking response of the authorities in the matter on installation of audio footage of cctv cameras in police stations, the Court re notified the matter on July 27.
Advocates M. Sufian Siddiqui and Alya Veronica appeared for the petitioner. Additional Standing Counsel RS Kundu appeared for the State.
Case Title: MOHD ARSHAD AHMAD v. THE STATE NCT OF DELHI & ORS.