Maharashtra plans to record all FIRs on video

The Director General of Police, Maharashtra, Pravin Dixit, has ordered all police stations in the state to videograph the process of registering a First Information Report (FIR). The process will involve videographing of the complainant’s statement, panchanama, witness statements and gathering of evidence. Though at this moment, sources in the department said, this initiative will be difficult due to the non-availability of cameras at every police station, in the future, policing will have to rely on digital technology, and they welcome the step. On an average, three cameras will be required in every station.

Dixit wants videographing of the registering of FIRs to increase the conviction rate in the state, which is around 30 per cent in Maharashtra and 41 per cent in the city. On an average, 270 FIRs are filed daily in the city.  “Digitalisation will help us; we will record everything from the statement of the victim to the panchanama and statements of witnesses. We will also take a handwritten complaint of the complainant. Then the complainant will not be able to change his statement in the future and the case stands in court,” said Dixit, DGP, Maharashtra.

The state BJP-Sena government has been trying various steps to increase the dismal rate of conviction in the state. The government recently had issued a circular in which they had said that if the public prosecutors don’t get conviction in 25 per cent of cases, the state might stop their promotions. “It’s a good order, but presently we are short of cameras. Every police station was given a Handycam in 2012, which are not working now. Giving one camera won’t help. They need to give two to three cameras —sometimes three to four FIRs are registered in a day,” said a police inspector.

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