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HC tells government to comply with order of CCTV lens at police stations

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The Bombay High Court asked Maharashtra government to file within a week a compliance report on its earlier order directing it to install close circuit television cameras (CCTV) covering every nook and corner of all police stations so as to bring the entire place under surveillance.

The court had last month ordered the state to install CCTVs at police stations against the backdrop of custodial deaths in Maharashtra which accounted for the highest number of such cases in the country.

A bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode was informed that the state had been given a time of four weeks earlier to submit this report but has not filed it so far.

The judges then gave one more week to government to file the report.

The court had noted on the last occasion that 23.48 per cent of the total custodial deaths in the country in the last 15 years took place in the state, citing the statistics provided by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The HC is hearing two petitions regarding custodial deaths. Both PILs seek probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The court had directed that every part of the police Station should be under surveillance and tapes of CCTV recording should be preserved for at least one year.

Advocate Yug Chaudhary, appointed as amicus curie (friend of the court) to assist the court, had argued earlier that in most cases of custodial death, the victim is found to have been detained illegally, and is never produced before the magistrate.

After the arrest, the person is supposed to be produced within 24 hours before a magistrate, he argued.

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