Madras HC Judge SM Subramaniam Directs Installation Of CCTV Cameras In His Chambers: Read On To Find Out Why
Justice SM Subramaniam on Thursday directed the Registrar (Administration), High Court of Madras to install CCTV cameras in his chambers.
The direction was issued in a bid to follow his own advice to the Chief Secretary to the State government to install CCTV cameras inside official chambers and office rooms of all higher officials, "in order to avoid all such allegations/complaints against the higher officials and to safeguard the interest of women officers and women employees from the offences of sexual harassment".
The order was passed in petitions concerning sexual harassment allegations levelled against S. Murugan, joint director of the Directorate of Vigilance & Anti-Corruption, by a woman IPS officer.
In her complaint, the woman officer has alleged that the accused kept obsessively calling her numerous times after office hours and commenting on her personal and physical attributes. She has also claimed that he used to call her to his office on different pretexts and click her photos despite her objecting to it. He allegedly tried to forcefully hug her as well.
In its judgement, the court, at the outset, pointed out that the Director General of police, as well as the Commissioners of Police of all cities have been "preaching" the use of CCTV cameras in apartments etc, but have not followed the advice themselves.
It then observed, "This being the preachings of the Police Department to the citizen at large of this Great Nation, what about the offenders and Black Sheep in the Police Offices, Chambers and Office Rooms of the higher officials and what measures are taken to nab the offenders and Black Sheep inside the Police Department and other public offices and institutions etc."
In this context, the court quoted Mahatma Gandhi: "An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching". In an attempt to follow his words, Justice Subramaniam then ordered, "…this Court is inclined to direct the Registrar (Administration), High Court of Madras to install Closed Circuit CCTV Camera in the Chambers of Hon'ble Justice S.M.SUBRAMANIAM, within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order."