Free Press Journal

Why CCTV’s only for VIP’s, why not for women’s safety? Asks HC



New Delhi: Delhi High Court today came down heavily on the government and Delhi Police asking why they had not installed CCTVs to beef up security of women in the capital but had done so only for a visiting head of state.

“Buy and put up CCTV cameras. Why can’t you hire cameras for safety of women? If you can do it for visiting heads of state, you can do it for women and children of the capital who want safety,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

The court also expressed unhappiness over the “lack of progress” on the part of the Centre and Delhi police in creating additional posts in the force, saying “none of you are interested. You do not want it. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) does not want to do it for some odd reason.”

“If people want more police personnel, how does it hurt you? Taxpayers are paying for it,” it said and added it had hoped red-tape would be cut by the government for improving safety, but “government agencies are not bothered”.

It also asked why people in the government, including bureaucrats, were not thinking about the reasons behind rise in crime, especially in Delhi’s peripheral areas, in order to curb it.

“Nothing is improving. Crime is going from bad to worse,” it said as it sought comprehensive affidavits, by March 13 from Centre and Delhi police indicating steps to induct additional force.

It also sought an action plan from Delhi police on where CCTV cameras can be “deployed” by “keeping in mind the crime mapping already done”.

The Delhi government also faced the heat from the court for taking time to make operational forensic laboratories at Yashwant Place, Rohini, Sheikh Sarai and Sayurpur areas here.

However, the court noted that some progress had been made with regard to the lab at Yashwant Place which, the Delhi government said, would be operational by March 31.

The court also noted that “one of the stumbling blocks” delaying operationalising of the labs was the “inertia of Delhi Development Authority and Public Works Department”. It issued notices to DDA and PWD to inform the court on next date about the reasons behind their “inertia”.