The Supreme Court has recently sought details from the Tihar jail authorities about the locations at which CCTV cameras have been installed both inside and outside the prison walls.
The bench of Justices UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee, and KM Joseph sought the above details while dealing with an incident on March 14, wherein three death row convicts were found in an intoxicated condition inside their cells. According to the sources, the authorities had to use force to bring them to their senses. On the other hand, one of the convicts, Rahul showed the effects of brutality as he could hardly walk.
When the incident was brought to the notice of the Court on March 19, the Bench directed Satish Kumar, Additional District Judge, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi to visit Tihar jail, interview the convicts, examine CCTV footage and submit a report to the Court.
Meanwhile, the jail authorities claim that there was no CCTV footage of the incident or the medical treatment the men received after they were subdued.
The Court was also informed that though CCTV was installed near the medical dispensary, the life of the CCTV footage was only four days.
However, Senior Advocate A Sirajudeen, representing the accused, submitted that even if CCTV footage is not stated to be available, the data can still be retrieved from the hard disk and for that purpose, the hard disk in question, should be taken into custody.
Subsequently, the top court sought an affidavit from the authorities stating whether or not the control room and the boundary wall of the jail are covered by CCTV cameras.
“The affidavit to be filed by the Tihar Jail Superintendent should also disclose under what circumstances, materials, such as, tobacco pouches or any other contraband/such things found their way inside the jail premises and what kind of preventive and other measures are being taken by the jail authorities to avoid the same,” added the top court bench.
“The Jail Superintendent was, therefore, asked to get accused Rahul medically examined and to furnish certificate. No such documents pertaining to his medical examination are placed on record,” the apex court bench noted when the case was heard on March 25.
Further, the apex court referred to how its judgment in 2020 had made it clear that “jail authorities are obliged to install CCTV cameras at various places in the jail”.