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SC grants last opportunity to Centre and States for installation of CCTVs in Police stations within 3 months.

SC grants last opportunity to Centre and States for installation of CCTVs in Police stations within 3 months.

Recently, The Supreme Court granted the last opportunity to Centre and States for the installation of CCTVs in Police stations within 3 months. 

The bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and Vikram Nath held “it is disheartening to note that insofar as Union of India is concerned, out of seven investigating agencies no steps of sincere nature have been taken in case of four investigating agencies.”

The Supreme Court on April 18 granted three months’ time, "by way of last chance", to the Union of India and all the state governments/union territories to comply with its December 2020 order to install CCTV cameras in all police stations and offices of investigative agencies, such as the CBI, the ED and the NIA, that conduct investigation and have the power of arrest.

Stating that though the Court is "not inclined to take a stricter action at this stage", the Court directed all the state governments/union territories and Union of India to file their respective affidavits prior to 18.07.2023 stating therein that the compliance, in effect, has been made. The Court, however, made it clear that the Chief Secretary/Administrator of such of the state government/union territory which fails to comply with the directions and not file the required affidavit prior to 18.07.2023, shall personally remain present in the Court on the next date of hearing, to show cause as to why an action for committing contempt should not be taken against them

The Report would reveal that two Union Territories i.e. Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar and the Union Territory of Ladakh as well as the States of Mizoram and Goa have fully complied with the directions issued by the Supreme Court i.e. making budgetary allocations as well as actual installation of the CCTV cameras.

On February 21, the Court directed Centre, states and union territories to show the status of compliance with respect to its December 2020 order where a bench headed by Justice R. F. Nariman had issued directives for the installation of CCTV cameras to curb instances of custodial torture. On February 21, the Court had asked the appropriate governments to file their compliance reports within March 29.

The bench opined that this is not an adversarial litigation. When this Court had issued directions, in order to maintain transparency at the police station and the officers of the investigating agencies, the Union of India and the State Governments/Union Territories ought to have complied with the said directions. 

Supreme Court directed the Chief Secretary/Administrator of such of the State Government/Union Territory, who fails to comply with the directions and not file the required affidavit prior to 18.07.2023 to personally remain present in the Court on the next date of hearing, to show cause as to why an action for committing contempt should not be taken against them.

The bench stated that it is disheartening to note that insofar as the Union of India is concerned, out of seven investigating agencies no steps of sincere nature have been taken in the case of four investigating agencies. 

In view of the above, Supreme Court directed the Union of India also to comply with the aforesaid directions in respect of its agencies prior to the aforesaid date and file an affidavit of compliance, prior to 18.07.2023. 

"This is not an adversarial litigation. When this Court had issued directions, in order to maintain transparency at the police station and the officers of the investigating agencies, the Union of India and the state governments/Union Territories ought to have complied with the said directions", observed the bench

Case Title: Paramvir Singh Saini v. Baljit Singh & Ors.

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