CCTV Project: Delhi Home Secretary Holds Meeting, Defies Government Stand

An official said Mr Parida would call another meeting of the six-member committee in the next five-six days and discuss various aspects such as common framework for installation, monitoring and other issues related to CCTV cameras in public spaces.

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CCTV Project: Delhi Home Secretary Holds Meeting, Defies Government Stand

Arvind Kejriwal government has declared a panel constituted by Anil Baijal as "null and void"


New Delhi:  Defying the AAP government's stand, Delhi Home Secretary Manoj Parida today chaired a meeting of the Lieutenant Governor-appointed committee on a project for installation of CCTV cameras, in what could trigger another confrontation with the AAP dispensation and the Lt General's office.

An official said Mr Parida would call another meeting of the six-member committee in the next five-six days and discuss various aspects such as common framework for installation, monitoring and other issues related to CCTV cameras in public spaces.

The Arvind Kejriwal government has declared as "null and void" the Parida-headed panel constituted by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, saying that it was the responsibility of the government to install CCTV cameras aimed at ensuring women's safety in the city.

In a letter to Mr Baijal on Thursday, Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain directed Mr Parida not to proceed with the committee. The Home Secretary received the communication from the minister's office this evening.

The official said that following the direction of the Lt General who is the "head of government", Mr Parida today held a meeting of committee and discussed common framework for installation, monitoring and other issues related to CCTVs in public spaces.

As per terms and reference of the panel which has to submit its report to the Lt General within one month, its members will recommend norms regarding storage, monitoring, access and sharing of CCTV footage with the government authorities, keeping in view the privacy and security concerns including erasure/final disposal of recorded footage, evidentiary value of images among others.

"While the use of surveillance cameras helps improve safety and prevent incidents of crimes, there have been reported instances of misuse of CCTVs for intrusion and compromise on privacy/safety of individuals.

"The use of the surveillance camera system should not be permitted to become a tool to violate privacy of individuals which is considered to be a fundamental right," stated an order issued by the home department's deputy secretary regarding terms and reference of the panel.

It stated the "privacy concerns" related to installation of CCTVs have to be addressed appropriately and effectively and there must be clear responsibility and accountability for all surveillance camera system activities including images and information collected, held and used.

"...there is an urgent need to establish a standard operating procedure/framework for installation operation, monitoring of CCTV cameras in public spaces and other related issues," it stated.

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