Days after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (government) over who holds the right to administer and government Delhi, a committee formed by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, has recommended that the Delhi Police will be the custodian of the CCTV cameras installed in public areas in the national capital. This also includes the CCTV cameras installed by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the ‘Delhi Rules for Regulation of CCTV Camera Systems in NCT of Delhi, 2018’ was drafted by a committee chaired by Principal Secretary (Home) Manoj Parida. The committee submitted its report to the L-G last week. It has proposed a set of rules for governing CCTVs in public areas after getting feedback from stakeholders and people under the Delhi Police Act, 1978.
If notified, the daily reported, that Delhi will become the first city with a specified set of rules governing CCTV cameras in public places.
The panel was formed on May 8 headed by Parida who also is the PWD Secretary. Representatives from Delhi Police and IT Ministry were also the part of the committee. It was tasked with framing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and regulatory framework related to installation, operation, monitoring and other issues concerning CCTVs.
In its eight-page rules, the panel recommended that the “appropriate authority” on installation, operation and monitoring of CCTVs will be the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Licensing). It states that handlers of CCTV systems monitoring a public place including housing societies, marketplaces, government departments, will report to the DCP (Licensing). Besides, the purpose, number, location and other such details related to the CCTV system including the manner of usage, handling and storage of data will have be made known to the police.
It also warned that any violation will invite ‘punitive action’.
The recommendations made by the panel is likely to further deepen the confrontation between the L-G and AAP who are already at the loggerheads ever since Kejriwal assumed the office of the CM in February 2015.
The national capital has at least 2.5 lakh CCTVs in public areas, the IE report said.
On Friday, Kejriwal had dubbed the panel ‘illegal’ and directed him to place the proposal on the installation of 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras in the national capital when the Cabinet meets on July 10. Earlier, PWD Minister Satyendra Jain had asked Parida not to head the L-G appointed panel. Kejriwal and AAP MLAs had even staged a protest outside the L-G’s residence demanding the panel be disbanded.