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January 23, 2021

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News at Another Perspective

SC directs Centre to install CCTV cameras in offices of CBI, NIA, other probe agencies

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The Supreme Court (SC) has directed the to install CCTV cameras in offices of investigating agencies including the Central Bureau of Investigation, Investigation Agency, Narcotics Control Bureau, Department of Revenue Intelligence Enforcement Directorate and Serious Fraud Investigation Office.

In a significant judgement on Wednesday, the Supreme Court had said, in case of any human right violation by investigating agencies like the , ED and others, the victims have the right to get a copy of CCTV footage of interrogation to take cognizance of an offence.

A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice pronounced the landmark judgement after hearing the SLP (Special Leave Petition) filed by one, Singh Saini, who had raised issues regarding audio-video recordings of statements and the installation of CCTV cameras in police stations generally across the country.

The other two judges on the bench of the top court were: Justices K M Joseph and Aniruddha Bose.

“Since these directions are in furtherance of the fundamental rights of each citizen of guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and since nothing substantial has been done in this regard for a period of over 2 1/2 years since our first order, the Executive/Administrative/police authorities are to implement this Order both in letter and in spirit as soon as possible,” the bench of the Apex Court said in its verdict today.

The affidavits will have to be filed by the Principal Secretary/Cabinet Secretary/Home Secretary of each State/ Union Territory giving this Court a firm action plan with exact timelines for compliance with today’s Order. This is to be done within a period of six weeks from today, the Supreme Court said in its verdict.

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