The Supreme Court in one of the recent judgments has held that in case a victim
during an interrogation by any of the agencies like Police, CBI, NIA, ED etc.,
has a right to obtain the CCTV footage if there is any human right violation
faced by the victim.
The victim can approach the National/State Human Rights Commission,
Superintendent of Police or Human Rights Courts. Further every interrogation
room should have CCTV’s installed. The Supreme Court in order to protect the
human rights have laid down serious measures in the case of Paramvir Singh
Saini v. Baljit Singh & Ors
., SLP (Criminal) No. 3543 of 2020.
The Supreme Court issued the directives while disposing the Special Leve
Petition filed by Paramvir Singh, in which the issue of audio-video recordings
and installation of CCTV’s in places of interrogation and other relevant places
The Court while giving directives referred to the case of Shafhi Mohammad v.
State of Himachal Pradesh
, (2018) 5 SCC 311, where the court had issued
similar set of directives but it has been more than 2 years and there have been
no steps taken to implement the directives. The court further stated that the
right to report violation of human right is a fundamental right under Article 21
of the Constitution and hence the provision of recordings and CCTV has to be
available on an urgent basis.
The Court further asked the Central Government to file an affidavit on the
Constitution and working of the Central Oversight Body. It also instructed the
Central Government to install CCTV cameras and recording equipment’s in all
interrogation offices of the agencies.
Lastly dismissing the petition the court was of the opinion that “The SLOC and
the COB shall give directions to all Police Stations, investigative/enforcement
agencies to prominently display at the entrance and inside the police
stations/offices of investigative/enforcement agencies about the coverage of the
concerned premises by CCTV.
This shall be done by large posters in English, Hindi and vernacular language.
In addition to the above, it shall be clearly mentioned therein that a person
has a right to complain about human rights violations to 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. It shall further
mention that CCTV footage is reserved for a certain minimum time period, which
shall not be less than six months, and the victim has a right to have the same
secured in the event of violation of human rights.”
Written By: Prime Legal Law Firm
Off Address: 39/2, 2nd floor, K G Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560001
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