The use of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras has become an increasingly common tool in law enforcement and security around the world, where Kashmir is no exception, with CCTV cameras being installed in public areas, offices, it is high time that all private facilities including homes should also install CCTV cameras in order to curb crime in the Division.
From 2009 the CCTV surveillance became an increasingly popular means of monitoring public and private spaces in India. The use of CCTV cameras is widespread in a variety of settings, including residential areas, offices, banks, hospitals, and public transportation systems. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has also installed CCTV cameras throughout the city, offices and public places to enhance public safety and security. In fact the State Administration also issued order for installation of CCTV cameras in all Police Stations and public officer, not only a measure of security but also accountability. In fact in another Order the District Magistrates of various district in Kashmir division in order to deter criminals, anti-social and anti-national elements from committing crimes, directed the installation of CCTV outside establishments, and such installation would work as a force multiplier, which would inspire further confidence in general public/customers visiting these establishments. The District Magistrates exercised their Power under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 directing Shop owners and market associations to install CCTV cameras compulsorily.
Thought the directions for installation of CCTV in markets etc. did raise the concerns raised about privacy violations and the potential misuse of footage, Hence in order to restrict the misuse of such footages, the the Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines for their installation and use. Some key features of the guidelines are that the footage from CCTV cameras should be stored securely and should not be shared with unauthorized persons, also that the CCTV should not be installed only in public places and should not be used to invade the privacy of individuals.
Case studies of CCTV footage used in criminal investigations
CCTV footage has become an indispensable tool in criminal investigations in recent years, providing crucial evidence in many high-profile cases. In India, there have been several instances where CCTV footage has led to successful prosecution and conviction of criminals.
1. Nirbhaya Case (2012): In this infamous gang rape case in New Delhi, CCTV footage from a hotel helped investigators identify and apprehend the six perpetrators.
2. Gauri Lankesh Murder Case (2017): The murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh was captured on her home’s CCTV system. The footage facilitated law enforcement agencies in identifying suspects involved in her assassination.
3. Kathua Rape Case (2018): In this brutal rape case involving an eight-year-old girl from Jammu and Kashmir, investigators were able to assemble multiple pieces of evidence, including CCTV footage of the temple’s vicinity where the crime was committed.
However, it is important to note that the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, regulates the use of CCTV footage in criminal investigations and it’s not merely the installation of cameras but also the handling of the footage for the purposes of reading a Evidence, which also need to be learned and administration must introduce SOPs for the same
Supreme Court: Paramvir Singh Saini Versus Baljit Singh & Ors. vide its reportable judgement dated 02.12.2020 gave direction for installation of CCTV cameras in all Police Station and office of all other Investigation agencies , which possesses the power of arrest. As per the directions, CCTV cameras are to be installed, inter alia, at all entry and exit points including the main gate of the police station, in front of the police station compound as well as the back portion of the police station, in the lobbies or reception areas, corridors, verandas or outhouses, station halls, and rooms belonging to the inspectors, sub-inspectors, and duty officers, inside and outside lock-up rooms, and outside washrooms. The surveillance systems must be equipped with night vision and should be able to transmit both video and audio footage. Victims of custodial torture, the court had asserted, would have the right to seek the CCTV footage of interrogation by police and other federal agencies.
The direction by the Hon’ble Supreme Court reflects the confidence of the highest judiciary in the technology and how the same can be a game changer for security as well as accountability.
As per a news report, Delhi was at the top with 1,826 CCTV cameras per square mile in the world. The story behind such numbers is that the NCT of Delhi, through Public Works Department, upon an Application by any Individual, market, association etc. installs the CCTV camera on cost of the State, rather than shifting the onus of installation on the Individuals. Though such applications are subject to the approval of competent authority and location feasibility etc.
Preservation of CCTV footage
In a number of cases the Complainant would entirely leave the matter in hands of the Investigation Agencies, who might due to limited resources and overburden of cases, miss on an essential factor i.e preservation of the CCTV footage. The average life of CCTV footage to replay is around 3-12 Months and upon expiry of such period if the CCTV footage is not secured or preserved the same is lost forever, without any chances of recovery, which not only weakens the case for the prosecution but also sabotages an important link in the chain of events. The Complainants can very well exercise their right under 156(3) Cr.P.C to seek specific directions for preservation of CCTV footage
The role of CCTV footage in workplace and property monitoring
CCTV footage plays a crucial role in workplace safety and security. There are several benefits of installing CCTV cameras in the workplace. Firstly, they act as a deterrent to potential criminals, reducing the likelihood of theft, vandalism, or even more severe crimes. Secondly, they can help in identifying perpetrators if a crime does occur, making it easier for law enforcement officials to apprehend them.
Apart from preventing crime, CCTV cameras can also be used to monitor employee behaviour to ensure compliance with company rules and regulations. For instance, if an employee is caught stealing from the company, the CCTV footage can be used as evidence during disciplinary proceedings. Moreover, CCTV footage can be used to identify safety hazards in the workplace, enabling employers to take corrective actions to prevent accidents. For example, if an employee slips and falls at a particular location, the CCTV footage can be reviewed to identify the cause of the accident, such as a wet floor or an obstruction. This information can then be used to take corrective measures such as putting up warning signs, cleaning up spills immediately, or removing obstructions.
Overall, the presence of CCTV cameras in the workplace can improve employee safety, reduce the likelihood of criminal activity, and provide valuable evidence in case a crime does occur. Employers should ensure that their CCTV systems comply with all applicable laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues.
Conclusion and the future of CCTV surveillance in India.
In conclusion, the use of CCTV cameras has become an important tool in to ensure public safety and security. The cases discussed in this article demonstrate the value of CCTV footage in providing evidence and solving criminal cases. However, there are also concerns regarding the misuse of CCTV footage, invasion of privacy, and data protection. As technology continues to advance, the future of CCTV surveillance in India will likely involve the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and facial recognition technology. This could lead to more efficient and accurate identification of suspects, but it also raises questions about privacy and civil liberties.
It is important that the use of CCTV cameras is regulated and monitored by the government to prevent abuse and ensure that citizens’ rights are protected. Businesses and individuals should also take responsibility for the use of CCTV cameras on their premises, ensuring that they are used ethically and in compliance with the law.
Overall, the use of CCTV cameras has both benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to strike a balance between public safety and individual privacy. With careful implementation and regulation, CCTV surveillance can continue to play an important role in maintaining law and order in India.
There is a saying that, “What you allow to happen in your presence is your standard”. It is hard to digest but it needs to be understood that the issue of child sexual abuse has always been rampant in our society and is now becoming very common in Jammu and Kashmir. It is an ugly truth and it is extremely sickening that such issues are either overlooked or dealt without proper alertness. Children may not be the 100% of our population but they definitely are the 100% of our future. Tender age of the child who is sexually abused is transformed into a lifetime of anxiety and depression. Every human has certain memories from his/her childhood and events like these in early life can lead to devastating consequences in the life ahead of such children. Children are defenseless and need security, affection, and tremendous sensitiveness as a result of their physical, mental, and other underdeveloped abilities.
Sexual abuse against children includes all situations in which a child is used for sexual pleasure either by an adult or a juvenile. Sexual abuse of child is not a phenomenon that is common only in a poor household. It also happens within the wealthy, middle class or rich families. There are several unreported cases of child abuse in schools or other educational centers including religious centers. Children who are sexually abused sometimes have to suffer from mental breakdown and need psychological help. The child loses the sense of dignity and self-worth andsuffers from the loss of confidence in the family and relatives.
Read full Article on http://risingkashmir.com/child-abuse-and-posco-act
In March this year, with the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus,a SARS 2 respiratory illness known as Covid-19, caused widespread health and wealth devastation around the world. The World Health Organization categorized COVID-19as a“Pandemic” and the only known and successful measure to curb the virusfrom spreading was by way of imposing a strict lockdown. The Government of India too had little choice and announced a countrywide lockdown. COVID-19is a first of its kind after decades, whichunfortunately is a multipronged attack on our health,lives, wealth and economy.The spectrum of risk that refracts from this pandemic is beyond comprehension and risks are broad enough to impact an individual on personal as well as professionalfront, the dependents are also destined to suffer the impact.
“WILL” you ensure!
In normal times,a “Will” was ordinarily prepared by those who were running towards old age and would foresee disputes amongst their family members after their demise. Hence, to protect their family a“Will” was prepared.
Read full Article on https://kashmirdespatch.com/will-you-ensure/?fbclid=IwAR3vW0SVuWhtR322daGEaqCqeyVgHY079IiWHsSQetclFWaTag5lcFLC5ac
The Legal Wing of Awani National Conference with the support of Advocates Viqas Malik, Romaan Muneeb and Amir Mushtaq has been successful in securing bail for Kashmiri YouTuber Faisal Wani who was taken into custody by the Jammu & Kashmir Police for uploading an alleged video depicting beheading of BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who had earlier insulted Prophet Muhammad (SAW) on a national TV debate.
In a statement issued to the Kashmir Media Watch, The Awami National Conference condemned the act of Nupur Sharma and sought strict legal action against her for intentionally insulting the faith and belief of 1.8 billion Muslims across the globe. Our party stands by the secular ethos and democratic values of our republic. Our Party resolutely stands against the venomous and communal propaganda being perpetrated by certain black sheep’s in the national media. We have and will always stand by the cause of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Anyone who seeks remedy under Law anticipates an effective and speedy redressal of grievances. To cater to this hope, the Legislature often endeavours to design special laws, procedures and adjudicatory fora for speedy adjudication of disputes, especially for the more vulnerable. One of the issues has been the dismay and despair of the women in our society and the legislature has been more empathetic with the plight of women who face difficulties due to troubled marriages. There are various statutes, which ensure the protection of women as also their rights. In fact, the Magna Carta of these welfare legislations lays in the Constitution of India, Article 15 (3) to be more specific.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 etc. were introduced decades ago and have been tailored time and again to ensure their effectiveness. However, the women of Jammu and Kashmir could not exercise many rights like their sisters in the other parts of the country due to parallel Constitutional structure and failure of the male-dominated State Legislature to ratify these laws. Hence, the women of J&K could never really ensue any benefit out of these legislations, which otherwise equipped their sisters with special rights and protection where the marriages failed to work.
Read Full Article on https://libertatem.in/articles/a-legal-insight-into-the-lives-of-the-women-of-jammu-and-kashmir/
For those of us living in India right now, every day there’s a new set of rules and regulations and law handed down from Centre and State governments as they aim to stop the spread of coronavirus. Borders have been sealed, events have been cancelled, and many shops, businesses and services like court are yet to resume operations. Social distancing measures have been put in place and self-isolation is mandatory for most people crossing jurisdictions, and, of course, anyone returning from overseas or entering the country.
Practising ‘social distancing’ and undertaking mandatory self-isolation in a utopian society should have been largely based on trust – trusting people to follow the Public Health and Safety guidelines, as well as other sensible guidelines and recommendations. But in the wake of video footages showing crowds gathering, baithaks, and other similar mass gathering the rules have now changed.
Read Full Article on https://libertatem.in/articles/jiski-lathi-uski-bhains-an-analysis-from-the-perspective-of-social-distancing-norms-in-covid-19/
Suddenly a little known small village called Amshipora in south Kashmir with a population of just 1700 inhabitants has taken a center stage in the local news. This after an encounter with the security forces in which three suspected militants were neutralized. The news could have croaked here just like the trio but their afterlife fate wanted their names to live for some more time. The said encounter came under clouds when relatives of three young men from dhar sakri village of district Rajouri lodged a belated missing person report after the encounter and suspicion arose if the 3 missing labourers are those who were neutralized as terrorists. The relatives of missing youth in their complaint to the police claimed that they had last spoken to the trio on July 16th when these young labourers informed that they had rented a small room in Chowgam, Shopian.
After the matter gained prominence, the Army ordered a high-level Court of Inquiry “CoI”. The spokesperson of the Army later informed that the process of recording of statements of key witnesses is in progress, which is being monitored closely. The Army has also published advertisements in the local newspaper calling for people acquainted with the case to come forward and depose before the CoI. In the meanwhile, the J&K Police collected DNA samples of the family members from Rajouri for juxtaposing them with those, now buried in north of Kashmir.
Read Full Article on https://libertatem.in/articles/encounters-and-the-law-around-fake-encounter-concluded/
After the extension of the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 which abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution of India, a lot of speculations were made on the fate of J&K, whereas the current regime at Center saw the extension of Central acts to the newly created UT of J&K as an overture of development and anticipated high interstate investments in J&K. But many had an alternate theory and speculated that not much would change as the non-local investor would be sceptical to invest in J&K for its volatile situation and pendency of abrogation issue before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in WP (C) 1099 of 2019, as any adverse decision on the fate of Reorganization Act could cost investors loss of millions.
But what’s changing? The data as to investment reflects that abrogation has proved to be very beneficial for the state exchequer as far as money receipts from E-auction of mining are concerned. Over the last few months majority of the mining, leases have gone to non-local firms, which are majorly based out of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan and have made competitive bids. The abrogation has unbolted the mining industry of the Jammu and Kashmir to non-locals, which has a vast repository of Limestone, Gypsum, Bauxite, Magnesite, Dolomite, Quartzite, Borax, Fuel Minerals like Coal, Lignite, decorative/building stones like Granite, Marble, Slate, Bauxite, China clay, Bentonite and Gemstone like Sapphire, Garnet, Tourmaline, etc.
Read full Article on https://libertatem.in/articles/looking-back-on-article-3-during-changing-regulations-in-the-mining-sector/
The much talked about monsoon session of the Parliament culminated recently but not without controversies, sloganeering, and demonstrations. Apart from various other bills that saw the light of the day, the three key farm bills namely Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill garnered maximum spotlight. Intriguingly, like all other legislations, these bills are very promising, or one may feel that they are being projected that way.
The newly introduced laws are stated to be farmer-friendly by promising to increase his income and freeing the sector from government control. However, it has caused a major commotion across the country with farmers already hitting the streets despite the pandemic. The government, on the other hand, asserts that these bills will revolutionize the agrarian sector, which collectively constitutes 60% of India’s economy and hence the growth of the sector would fundamentally impact the overall economy and vice versa.
Read full Article on https://libertatem.in/articles/farm-bill-its-impact-on-jammu-kashmir/