CHENNAI: A plea by Chennai-based NGO ChangeIndia, to initiate contempt proceedings against the DGP and Home Secretary for failing to ensure installation and proper functioning of CCTVs at police stations and availability of the recordings, as directed by the High Court in 2015, was rejected by a Division Bench of the Madras High Court.
The petition also sought High Court fix accountability for non-functioning or non-availability of recordings. Even in the Sathankulam case, CCTV footage was not available or destroyed, it claimed.
The counsel also sought HC to direct the State to file a detailed report on measures adopted at various police stations.
Rejecting the plea, a Division Bench of Justices TS Sivagnanam and V Bhavani Subbaroyan observed that contempt proceedings cannot be initiated since the petition is moved based on information that is already available in public domain. “Only one instance of Sathankulam mentioned by the petitioner is not ample to initiate contempt proceedings,” observed HC.
However, the court agreed to hear a revised petition moved by the petitioner, which is already waiting to be numbered. According to petitioner A Narayanan, the HC in an order on April 24, 2015, based on a report filed by the Inspector General of Police wherein it was stated that CCTV installation at the remaining police stations in a phased manner will be set up within next five years.
The installation will include three cameras covering reception area, hall and lockups, recording facility will be available in DVR recorders, cameras will have night vision capabilities, uninterrupted power supply, recordings will be saved for future reference. However nothing much was implemented, it alleged.
The bench also observed that the entire issue has to be looked at seriously and requires examination of the entire measures adopted.