Acquire CCTV footage whenever possible or face action: P&H HC to cops

The court noticed that failure to collect CCTV footage had cause impediment in investigation of a case and stated that just departmental inquiry in such cases was not enough


The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued strict directions to Haryana police for use of CCTV footage in cases where such footage is available, and warned that failure to do so would invoke charges for non-recording of information under Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Single judge bench of Arun Kumar Tyagi passed this direction while hearing a petition of regular bail whereby it was getting difficult to determine during investigation as to who was the main perpetrator that caused grievous hurt to the complainant by using a sword.

The petition was filed for grant of regular bail by an accused who was charged for grievously causing hurt to a person. The court granted bail to the accused as there was disputed question over who caused the injury with the sword and since other co-accused were granted anticipatory bail and also since the trial would be prolonged due to the pandemic affecting regular functioning of the courts.

However, while granting bail, the court observed that the Investigating Officer (IO) on the case had not obtained CCTV footage of the incident from the place of occurrence which was naturally making it difficult to determine who had used the sharp weapon or sword to cause injury to the complainant. The court observed that even if a departmental inquiry was initiated against the IO for his failure to obtain CCTV footage, it does not “remedy the damage caused to the cause of justice”.

The court thus, directed Director General of Police, Haryana to further issue directions to Commissioners/Senior Superintendents/Superintendents of Police to exercise effective supervision on the police officials to ensure that in every case where any CCTV footage is claimed to be available, copies of the same are obtained from the source along with requisite certificate under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The court further stated that in case the IO fails to follow these directions a case be filed against him/her under section 166A (Punishment for non-recording of information) of IPC. The court also directed DGP, Haryana to file a compliance report in this regard along with a copy of the instructions so issued within one month.

The order may be read here



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