In recent times, we have been witnessing a number of headlines focussing on Police brutality and quite a few incidents of lockup deaths. The Sathankulam incident where a father and son died in Police Custody, shook not just the people of Tamil Nadu but the entire nation. Following this incident, many previous such incidents also began coming to light. Now, as a major move towards making the Police Department more transparent and sensitive towards the people, the Supreme Court of India has directed the Chief Secretaries of all the Indian States & Union Territories to provide data about the presence or feasibility of installing CCTV cameras in each and every Police station.

The Supreme Court has stated that this move is very important as it is based on the fundamental rights of all Indian citizens! Just last month, the Supreme Court had sought the help of Attorney General KK Venugopal in apprising it of the progress being made in the installation of CCTV cameras in all of the Police Stations in India as well as efforts for the audio and video recording of the statements made before the officers in the Police station. An earlier order passed by the Supreme Card in 2018, a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman had asked the Central Government to file a detailed affidavit in this regard by September 7th, so that the status of the compliance to the order could be known!

In 2016, a criminal case had been filed against the Punjab DSP Paramvir Singh Saini for alleged detention of two men in a police station for five days and torturing them, in connection with a murder case. In November 2016, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the registration of an FIR against Saini and five other policemen. During the course of this case, the Court decided to turn to the use of technology to root out these problems. Thus, in the 2018 judgement, the Court favoured the use of CCTV cameras in all police stations to maintain surveillance and monitor human rights abuse. The Court had also directed all the states to form individual committees to study these CCTV footage and publish regular reports. A Supreme Court bench had also asked the Centre to work on implementing cameras in Police Stations and Prisons to control the cases of custodial torture, in 2015 itself!