Chandigarh, February 16
Barely a month after the High Court of Punjab and Haryana made it clear that interrogation rooms would also be covered by the Supreme Court’s instructions on installing CCTV cameras in every nook and cranny of police stations, the judiciary reiterated that the excuse not to be as advanced as the other countries were no longer available.
Justice Amol Rattan Singh’s assertion came as UT and the states of Punjab and Haryana submitted a timetable for the implementation of Supreme Court orders guaranteeing the installation of CCTV cameras in every police station.
We are the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world and therefore the excuse that we are not as advanced as other countries is no longer available to us… — Judge Amol Rattan Singh
“We are the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world and therefore the excuse that we are not as advanced as other countries is no longer available to us unless we choose not to follow. a more civilized method of apprehension and investigation,” said Judge Amol Rattan Singh.
The bench, during the hearing, was told that all UT precincts and police stations were already equipped with cameras, but upgrading them in accordance with Supreme Court orders would take approximately five months. He also asked for a one-month “buffer” in this regard.
Haryana State has indicated that it will be required to install all such CCTV cameras in police stations by April 1. But there might be some delay due to a new outbreak of the pandemic. Punjab state, on the other hand, said CCTV cameras would be duly installed in all police stations by May 10.
Picking up on the matter, Justice Amol Rattan Singh had at a previous court date asked Punjab, Haryana and the DGP of Chandigarh to file affidavits on compliance with the Supreme Court guidelines. The instructions came after a defendant filed a plea through lead attorney Bipan Ghai with attorney Paras Talwar. He was looking for instructions to make videography from the time he left the prison premises until he reached the relevant police station for questioning. Ghai also prayed that the interrogation be recorded.
Ghai pointed to the Supreme Court’s guidelines on the issue in the case of “Paramvir Singh Saini v Baljit Singh”.
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