HC expresses anxiety over delay in installing CCTV cameras in all police stations across state
Kolkata: Expressing anxiety over delay in installation of CCTV cameras in all police stations of Bengal, the Calcutta High Court has observed that a case of custodial death of a minor boy has been complicated due to alleged malfunctioning of the closed circuit tv camera at Mallarpur police station in Birbhum district.
Observing that it is a serious lapse and breach of a direction passed by the Supreme Court in 2015, a division bench comprising justices Harish Tandon and Soumen Sen said on Wednesday that it is essential that CCTV cameras should be functional in all police stations across the state.
The High Court on November 12 had directed the West Bengal home secretary to submit an affidavit providing the status of CCTV cameras in all police stations of the state in connection with the custodial death of the boy last month.
The court noted that the Birbhum Superintendent of Police has admitted that CCTVs at Mallarpur police station were not functional at the relevant point of time.
"We express our anxiety as to the delay in the implementation of the (Supreme Court) judgement ... as it is imperative that all police stations have CCTVs installed.
"In fact in the instant case, the lack of CCTV footage due to alleged malfunctioning of CCTV has complicated the issue and added to difficulties in ascertaining the truth," the division bench observed.
The Birbhum Superintendent of Police has informed the court that departmental proceedings have been initiated against the police officers, "as serious lapses on their part cannot be ruled out". Advocate General Kishore Dutta, appearing for the state, submitted that if required, a CID investigation may be initiated, besides the judicial inquiry which is in
progress. The court was informed through an affidavit by the state government that out of 71 police stations under Kolkata Police commissionerate, 65 police stations have established child friendly corners with proper infrastructure. with agency inputs