Yesterday I had covered recent news about Supreme Court ordering all locks-ups in police stations (and prisons) to mandatorily have CCTVs installed.
While searching for that news, I found that SC has already issued orders in April, 2015 that all Delhi police stations should be covered by CCTVs. And this order is not only for lock-ups inside police station, but basically seems to cover whole of PS, which should definitely cover the lobby/reception and other important areas where complainants and others meet the police officials.
There are two news on the matter, and the earlier one is from Apr 23, which seems reliable enough.
To keep eye on cops, SC wants CCTV cameras at police stations – Indian Express, Apr 23, 2015
Delhi government gets its way on CCTV in police stations – Times of India, Jun 5, 2015
From the Indian Express news:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Police to install CCTV cameras in all police stations in the national capital in two months.
Concerned over the behaviour of policemen towards complainants, especially women, a bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice S A Bobde said that the Delhi Police Commissioner will ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at conspicuous places in all police stations in Delhi within the stipulated time.
The court said the report to be filed by the police commissioner should also mention details of cameras already installed and how many of them are functional.
As given below, the whole order came after complaint by woman lawyer, so it seems the ways to get things done in India is that a woman should report harassment of some kind, and someone will take action. Otherwise, it would continue to be business as usual. Anyway, we are not complaining, because the overall order is a step in the right direction.
“Let them (police) file an affidavit and tell us if they have installed CCTV cameras. And if they have done so, how many of them are actually functional. The report by the commissioner shall contain this information clearly,” the bench said and fixed the matter for hearing on May 11.
The order came in the wake of an incident wherein a woman lawyer from the apex court was allegedly manhandled by some policemen and others inside a police station in Delhi in April last year.
What this could mean for ‘harassed’ husbands who are called to police stations in Delhi on wife’s complaint:
- You can check beforehand if the CCTV is there in the PS, and maybe even insist that all ‘discussions’ and ‘counselling’ between wife/in-laws and you take place at a place covered by CCTV.
- If there is any manhandling done by wife’s party, then immediately file a complaint (to Commissioner of police if the lower police does not accept), and mention the date and time of incident. Also mention that the said incident must have been captured by the CCTV and the footage should be examined.
- Sorry, for all the ‘smart’ losers who think a visit to police station necessarily means giving a bribe to someone there, your act may also get recorded in CCTV. So it’s about time that one learns some ‘adamant’ Indian fighting techniques rather than ‘smart’ Indian survival techniques.
CCTV in CAW (Crime against women cells)
The order does not mention CAW cells, but the CAW cells are not exactly an independent entity from police, and they also operate inside police stations. So in case the CAW ‘counselling’ area is not covered under CCTV, ask the police personnel when it will get covered, and why it is not covered, since women’s safety it is such an important thing, and CAW is meant to safeguard women’s rights
If the CCTVs are not installed there, file an RTI on CAW and police authorities asking for budget, people responsible, and by when it is scheduled for CCTV to get installed to cover the CAW cell.