Draft rules prescribe reporting mechanism: LG on CCTV issue

New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal on Sunday clarified that the draft rules for the regulation of installation of CCTV cameras only prescribed a reporting mechanism and not a licensing mechanism.

The clarification came after it was learnt from various media reports that some misconception is being spread about the draft rules for the regulation of installation of CCTVs that the draft rules prescribe a licensing mechanism.

“It is reiterated that the draft rules put out for public suggestions/objections/feedback by the committee formed under the Principal Secretary (Home) have only prescribed a reporting mechanism for CCTVs and not a licensing mechanism,” the LG said in a statement.

He added, “The fact that more than two lakh cameras have already been installed in the city without coordination, highlights the need for a proper framework and information mechanism so that all CCTVs in public places installed in Delhi work optimally with a common objective of law enforcement, women safety, prevention and investigation of crimes and balance the same with the need to protect privacy while ensuring clear responsibility and accountability for all CCTVs installed including for images and data stored.”

There have been reported instances of misuse of CCTVs for intrusion and compromises on the privacy of individuals, the report from the LG house stated.

The LG continued, “The use of the surveillance camera system should not be permitted to become a tool to violate the privacy of individuals which has been held to be a fundamental right by the Supreme Court. For these reasons, elsewhere in the world, regulatory/policy framework for installation and operation of CCTVs are in place.”
Recently, at the national level, Justice Shrikrishna Committee has submitted its report on data protection law, as privacy concerns have to be addressed without compromising the security and safety aspects.

Finally, it was emphasised that the rules are only at a draft stage and the same has been put out in public domain for suggestions/clarifications so that a proper framework for installation of CCTVs in Delhi can be evolved which would help in ensuring law and order without compromising on the privacy of citizens.

Amid the ongoing tussle between Baijal and the Delhi government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a symbolic gesture tore a report of the LG committee on installing CCTV cameras in Delhi.

Addressing an interactive session comprising Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) and market associations of the city earlier in the day, Kejriwal, on flashing the report in front of the public said, “It is the will of the people that this report should be torn apart. The public is God in a democracy.”

As soon as he made the statement, he ripped the LG’s report on CCTV cameras, inviting huge cheers and applause from the public.

Slamming the report, Kejriwal said, “The report of LG’s committee whose members are police personnel, says if someone installs CCTV cameras in Delhi, even with their own money, they will have to get the license from the police. License means ‘paisa chadhao, license le jaao’ (give money and take license).” (ANI)