CHENNAI: Non-filing of counter-affidavits in response to two PILs praying for a direction to the State government to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all the police stations in the State, even after the stipulated period of one month, angered the first bench of the Madras High Court, which imposed a total cost of `10,000 on the State.
The bench of Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, which imposed the cost on Tuesday, however, granted a final opportunity to the State to file the counters within four weeks. The cost amount of `5,000 each on the two PILs should be deposited with the Mediation and Conciliation Centre attached to the high court within two weeks.
Rejoinder, if any, can be filed within two weeks thereafter, the bench added and posted the matter for further hearing on February 2.
Originally, while taking on file the PILs from advocate Prakash Raj and social activist A Narayanan of CHANGEIndia Trust a month ago, the bench had issued notice to the State government to file counter within four weeks on the Public Interest Litigations.
The prayer was to avoid human right violations at the police stations, which were allegedly rampant, and to improve the transparency of the enquiry conducted by police officials.
Narayanan stated that as many as 15 people died while in police custody last year and that Tamil Nadu stands second next to Maharashtra in the number of police custodial deaths.
He further submitted that so far there had been nine custodial deaths in Tamil Nadu this year alone.
The petitioner pointed out that the Law Commission has also made recommendations to install CCTV in all the rooms of police stations.