Guwahati: Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have now been installed in all police stations across Assam, the state government informed the Gauhati High Court.
All cameras are currently functional, the state government added.
Advocate General, Assam, Devajit Saikia submitted that an affidavit had been filed on behalf of the state in terms of the observations made by the High Court on August 14 2023.
The affidavit stated that the government had completed the installation of CCTV cameras in all police stations in Assam. It also stated that the recording storage capacity of the police stations was one month, while the same in regard to the central server was one year.
In regard to the comprehensive database based on fingerprints/biometrics of every accused who comes in contact with the criminal justice system, the court was informed that the process was being undertaken through a central project – the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS).
It is pertinent to mention that the State Finger Print Bureau (SFPB), CID Assam is the state nodal agency for the project, conceptualised and initiated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in 2019.
Currently, 51 NAFIS workstations are functional in Guwahati, while 34 such workstations are operational in other districts. About 50,017 fingerprints of arrested/convicted persons from Assam have been digitised and uploaded to the central server, the court was informed.
Earlier this year, the Assam government announced its plans to install CCTV cameras in all 332 police stations across the state. Subsequently, the state government had on June 16, informed the court that 100 police stations had been provided with CCTVs in phase I and in phase II, installation and commissioning of CCTVs had been done in 197 police stations.
The move comes as part of a concerted effort to enhance transparency, promote accountability, and strengthen public trust in law enforcement agencies. It is expected that the availability of detailed and verifiable footage will not only ensure accountability but also serve as a valuable resource for investigations, evidence gathering and training purposes.
“We appreciate the steps so taken by the state of Assam,” the division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Susmita Phukan Khaund noted.
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“However, it may be noted that the affidavit is silent regarding the observation made by this court that the biometrics so collected should be assimilated in the ‘e-Prisons’ software as well,” the court observed.
The Advocate General, Assam, in his response, assured the court that the process would also be completed at the earliest.
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