All police stations in Delhi will get CCTVs by December 15, High Court told

CCTV cameras installed at nine police stations in the capital since 2002 are non-functional, the Delhi government disclosed before the Delhi High Court. The government, however, gave assurance to a bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shekhar that it will install CCTV cameras with recording facility in around 180 police stations by December 15 to ensure transparency in the agency’s functioning.

Delhi government’s standing counsel (criminal), Rahul Mehra, further told the court that state-of-the-art CCTV cameras will also be installed at ‘chowkis’, which will also be made functional on or before December 15. Mehra submitted that police stations will have 10 CCTVs — in the duty officer room, the lock-up room, SHO room, malkhana, visitor room, women help desk and other corridors of the building.

The court was further informed by Delhi State Legal Services Authority about the increase in number of forensic expert reports in numerous cases, leading to delay in trial. It was told that the vacancies in the department concerned have also increased. Hearing which, the bench said, “If you (Delhi government and Delhi Police) look everywhere, the vacancy is going up. Which is worrying”.

“Instead of upgrading the system with regard to scientific and forensic labs and experts, so that proper checks and balances are kept, we are deteriorating day by day,” the bench said and sought to know the reason behind it. The bench sought to know why it was not able to abide by its assurance of last year that pendency of viscera and blood samples for testing in forensic labs would go down. It directed the directors of the two forensic science labs in the city to file an affidavit citing the reasons for the rise in pending cases.

The court’s direction came during a PIL it had initiated after the December 16, 2012 gangrape of a young woman in a moving bus in south Delhi. It was also hearing a PIL regarding safety of women in the capital. Regarding the issue of recruiting more police personnel, Delhi Police was asked by the bench to inform it about its status on recruitment following the approval for 3,139 posts from the ministry concerned.

In response, Mehra informed the court that of the 3,139 additional posts sanctioned in July this year, 42 have been filled by promotions, and the process for filling up 1,198 posts has been initiated. The remaining 1,757 posts would be advertised soon, police told the court, which directed that immediate steps be taken for initiating recruitment. The bench directed the police to file a chart indicating number of posts, the process initiated for recruitment and the stage at which it was before the next date of hearing, December 13.

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