Production Of Police Station CCTV Footage Can’t Be Ordered At The Drop Of A Hat Compromising Secrecy Of Other Investigations: Calcutta High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesProduction Of Police Station CCTV Footage Can’t Be Ordered At The Drop Of A Hat Compromising Secrecy Of Other Investigations: Calcutta High Court Sparsh Upadhyay1 Feb 2021 5:04 AMShare This – xCCTV footage of police stations, although undoubtedly necessary in the event there are specific allegations and prima facie material regarding custodial torture, cannot be directed at the drop of a hat, thereby compromising the secrecy of other investigations going on in the concerned police station: Calcutta High CourtNoting that when there are specific allegations and prima facie material regarding custodial torture, then CCTV footage of police stations are undoubtedly necessary, the Calcutta High Court last week, however, observed, “(Production of CCTV footage) cannot be directed at the drop of a hat, thereby compromising the secrecy of other investigations going on in the concerned…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginNoting that when there are specific allegations and prima facie material regarding custodial torture, then CCTV footage of police stations are undoubtedly necessary, the Calcutta High Court last week, however, observed, “(Production of CCTV footage) cannot be directed at the drop of a hat, thereby compromising the secrecy of other investigations going on in the concerned police station.” The Bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya was hearing the plea of one Bikash Mondal who levelled serious allegations against the police authorities in his writ petition. The Plea It was alleged in the plea that the Petitioner’s daughter was arrested by the respondent authorities around 9 p.m. on December 23, 2020, in contravention of several legal provisions including Sections 41B, 46(4) and 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It was further alleged that she was kept in police custody and produced before the Magistrate only on December 26, 2020. Thus, the petitioner sought production of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footage of the Police Station for the relevant period from 23rd to 25th December, 2020 in order to bring the reality to light. Respondent’s response An affidavit-in-opposition was filed by the respondent-authorities stating that Petotioner’s daughter was arrested, in presence of her father, in connection with a specific Police Case, bearing No. 203 of 2020, registered with the Bodhghat police under Sections 420, 120B and 306 of the Indian Penal Code. The copy of the memo of arrest also indicated that the petitioner-father himself signed the said memo and the arrest took place on December 25, 2020 at about 10.50 a.m., and not on the night of December 23, 2020, as alleged by him. Further, the Court noted that the petitioner’s daughter was duly produced before the competent magistrate post arrest. Court’s Observations The Court, in its order noted that there was no material on record even to prima facie establish that any unnecessary/unlawful force was used on the petitioner’s daughter or that she suffered from any injury, let alone serious. Importantly, the Court said, “CCTV footage of police stations, although undoubtedly necessary in the event there are specific allegations and prima facie material regarding custodial torture, cannot be directed at the drop of a hat, thereby compromising the secrecy of other investigations going on in the concerned police station.” Further, the Court took into account the fact that petitioner’s signature is available on the memo of arrest and that reasons for the arrest of the petitioner’s daughter and even the relevant case number of the police station at Bodhghat was already disclosed to him. Hence, the Court remarked, “There does not appear to be any ground for apprehension of custodial torture being perpetrated upon the petitioner’s daughter.” Lastly, noting that there was no need to direct CCTV footage to be furnished by the police, the Court disposed of the plea by giving liberty to the petitioner to approach the Bodhghat police station at Bodhghat, DistrictBastar, Chhattisgarh for further information regarding the petitioner’s daughter and the status of the police case, in connection with which she was arrested.Related News In a historic Judgment, the Supreme Court last month observed that the State and Union Territory Governments should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in each and every Police Station functioning under them. Justice RF Nariman led bench observed that these directives shall be implemented both in letter and in spirit as soon as possible. The Court also directed the Central Government to install CCTV cameras and recording equipment in the offices of central agencies like CBI, NIA etc. In this path breaking Judgment, the Supreme Court held that in case of any human right violation by investigating agencies like police, CBI, NIA, ED Etc, the victims have the right to get the copy of CCTV footage of interrogation and also to approach the National/State Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Court or the Superintendent of Police or any other authority empowered to take cognizance of an offence. Further, last month, while observing that “CCTV system controls activities like atrocities against persons who are brought to police station”, the Bombay High Court (Aurangabad Bench) observed that the argument advanced by the police that the CCTV system installed in police station was not working couldn’t be accepted. The Bench of Justice T. V. Nalawade & Justice M. G. Sewlikar further observed, “This cannot be allowed to happen as the purpose behind installing the CCTV system itself is defeated when such submissions are accepted.” Case title – Bikash Mondal Vs. State of West Bengal and others [W. P. A. 104 of 2021] Click Here To Download Order/JudgmentRead Order/JudgmentNext Storylast_img read more

Read more