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Telangana: CCTVs aplenty, but cops hardly make use of them

Investigation officers either fail to collect footage from crime scenes or don’t submit it before courts, resulting in acquittals.

Published: 02nd August 2021 08:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2021 08:44 AM   |  A+A-

Police station CCTV

For representational purposes (Express Illustration)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Telangana Police Department has always maintained that CCTV cameras play a vital role in crime prevention and investigation, but the personnel in the State don’t seem to be submitting the camera footage as evidence during court trials, resulting in the acquittal of accused persons in several cases.

The courts have also pointed out this serious lapse several times, but there’s no sign of change. An analysis of a few cases of acquittal in the recent past exposes how the Investigation Officers (IO) have ignored this vital piece of evidence. They either didn’t collect the CCTV footage despite the presence of cameras at the crime scene or didn’t submit them before the court even after collecting them.

In a human trafficking case under the jurisdiction of the Golconda police, which was disposed of in July, the IO didn’t collect the CCTV footage, though the cameras were installed at the site of offence. The court, while acquitting the accused, noted, “In view of the said infirmities in the case of the prosecution, the possibility of the implication of the accused cannot be ruled out.”

In two attention diversion cases lodged at the Neredmet police station, which were disposed of in May, the CCTV footage from the site of offence, an ATM centre, was not submitted before the court. The court took strong objection to this and other investigation lapses, terming them “fatal” while acquitting the accused.

Further, in a hit-and-run case under the Chikkadpally police station limits, wherein a girl sustained serious injuries and her father died on the spot, the IO didn’t collect the CCTV footage from the accident spot, a traffic junction with high-end cameras. The court stated that the evidence produced against the accused was found to be unreliable and acquitted them.

As for a murder case investigated by the Saifabad police, wherein the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment in June, the IOs collected a hard disk containing CCTV footage of a hotel, where the murder had taken place, but failed to collect CCTV footage from the ATM kiosks, where the accused had withdrawn money from the victim’s bank account.

Acquittal in hit-and-run case in Hyderabad
In a hit-and-run case under the Chikkadpally police station limits, wherein a girl sustained serious injuries and her father died on the spot, the IO didn’t collect the CCTV footage from the accident spot, a traffic junction with high-end cameras. The court stated that the evidence produced against the accused was found to be unreliable and acquitted them



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