Ten CCTV cameras with recording facility would be installed at sensitive parts of 192 police stations in Delhi to ensure transparency in the system, the Delhi Police told the High Court here today. The court was also told that several locations, including areas where police-public interface take place, have been identified for installation of close circuit televisions(CCTV) in each police station and additional 42 police chowkis. The police said in a status report that it was likely to complete the work in six to eight weeks. The report was filed by a deputy commissioner of police in pursuance to court’s December 11 order by which the agency was asked to give a time frame for setting up CCTVs at its 192 police stations and 42 chowkis, along with the locations where the cameras would be installed. A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva also asked the authorities to ensure that footage of CCTVs were stored for at least one month or even for three months, as per the storage capacity of the devices.
The report, filed through Delhi Police’s additional standing counsel Rajesh Mahajan, said “locations of CCTV cameras to be installed in the police stations have been discussed by the committee of senior officers keeping in mind the places where police-public interface takes place and also other sensitive parts of the police station.” The places identified for installation of 10 CCTVs in each police station include the duty officer room, the lock- up, SHO room, malkhana, visitor room, women help desk, perimeter and the corridors of the building, it said.
The court listed the matter for January 31 for filing of an action taken report. It had earlier asked the AAP government and the police to coordinate on lighting up dark areas and setting up cameras in vulnerable locations of the city to make Delhi safe and secure for women and children. It had also directed the Centre to decide in six weeks augmenting the strength of Delhi Police, noting that it was “below the national average” and many of its personnel were deployed on VIP security duties by removing them from policing work.
The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it in 2012 after the infamous December 16, 2012 gangrape of a young woman in a moving bus. The victim had later succumbed to injuries inflicted on her by the rapists. It was also hearing another PIL by social activist Ajay Gautam alleging that there have been several deaths inside police stations in the city this year and the presence of functional CCTVs could act as a deterrent. The petitioner had claimed that even the CCTV cameras installed at a few police stations were obsolete as they did not have the recording feature and CCTVs were required in the police stations “to ensure transparency” in their functioning.