The CCTVs and recording equipment, the court said, would be used as a measure to protect the fundamental right to dignity and life.
The Supreme Court directed the Centre on Wednesday to install CCTV cameras and recording equipment at the offices of investigating agencies, including the CBI, the ED, and National Investigation Agency (NIA), which conduct interrogations and have the power of arrest. The CCTVs and recording equipment, the court said, would be used as a measure to protect the fundamental right to dignity and life. A three-judge Bench led by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman specifically ordered the Centre to have CCTVs and recording equipment installed in the offices of the CBI, NIA, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Department of Revenue Intelligence, Serious Fraud Investigation Office, and “any other agency which carries out interrogations and has the power of arrest”. In addition, the Union of India is also directed to install CCTV cameras and recording equipment in the offices of the Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau, Department of Revenue Intelligence, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), any other agency which carries out interrogations and has the power of arrest, said the bench, also comprising Justices KM Joseph and Aniruddha Bose. As most of these agencies carry out interrogation in their office(s), CCTVs shall be compulsorily installed in all offices where such interrogation and holding of accused takes place in the same manner as it would in a police station, the bench said in its order. The top court said that in September this year, it had impleaded all the states and UTs in the matter to find out the exact position of CCTV cameras in each police station as well as the constitution of Oversight Committees in accordance with the April 3, 2018 order. The apex court, while dealing with a matter related to custodial torture, had in July this year taken note of a 2017 case in which it had ordered installation of CCTV cameras in all the police stations to check human rights abuses, videography of crime scene, and setting up of a Central Oversight Committee and such a panel in every state and Union Territory.