The Supreme Court has directed Chief Secretary of each State and Union Territory to inform it about the exact position as to CCTV cameras in Police Stations as well as the constitution of Oversight Committees.
The bench impleaded all the States and Union Territories in the SLP moved by one Paramvir Singh Saini, which larger questions, viz., audio-video recordings of statements and the installation of CCTV cameras in police stations generally.
1. What exactly is the position with respect to CCTV cameras fitted in each and every Police Station in the State or Union Territory and
2. What is the position qua constitution of Oversight Committees in accordance with our order dated 03.04.2018.
In Shafhi Mohammad v. State of Himachal Pradesh (2018) 5 SCC 311, it was directed that the first phase of implementation of crime scene videography must be introduced by 15th July, 2018, at least at some places as per viability and priority determined by the COB. The Court had also directed that with a view to check human rights abuse, CCTV cameras be installed in all police stations as well as in prisons.
While issuing notice on a petition seeking implementation of audio-video recording of witness statements recorded by a Police officer under Section 161 CrPC, the bench had observed that it is important to "follow up" on the directions issued by it in Shafhi Mohammad. It had also had appointed Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave as Amicus Curiae.
"We call upon all the States and Union Territories in order to find out the exact position qua each Police Station...We also expect the Chief Secretary of the States and Union Territories to take this matter seriously and in right earnest since it involves the fundamental rights of the citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.", the bench said on Wednesday and posted the case to 24th November, 2020.