Case Comment – Paramvir Singh Saini    V. Baljit Singh, 2020


This matter connects with the topic of General media recording u/s 161 Cr.P.C.”Furthermore, proclamations under section 161(3)[1] wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has constantly attempted to lessen the instances of custodial violence and keep away from abuse of abilities given to police work force. In the question of D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal & Others[2], the Hon’ble Supreme Court had coordinated the establishment of CCTVs inside the jail cells to safeguard prisoners from infringement of their basic liberties and furthermore suggested the establishment of CCTVs in police headquarters.

The last proposal was a discretionary one. The Hon’ble High Court likewise held that in each Express an oversight component should be made in which a free board can concentrate on the CCTV camera film and occasionally distribute a report of its perceptions subsequently.

Further, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, on account of Shafhi Mohammad v. Province of Himachal Pradesh[3], coordinated that a Central Oversight Body (“COB”) be set up by the Service of Home Issues to carry out the game plan concerning the utilization of video graphy in the crime location during the investigation[4]. The previously mentioned COB will give guidelines and headings routinely to guarantee that the utilization of video graphy in crime location examination turns into a reality continuously.

The current case was documented as an Special Leave petition to which was documented to look at the situation with the establishment of CCTVs in police headquarters as well as the place of consistence according to section 161(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) which said that any proclamation made to the police under this part may likewise be recorded by general media electronic means[5]. The Court mentioned all states and affiliation spaces to introduce the particular spot of the CCTV cameras in each police base camp and nearby close by the circumstance with the creation of an oversight leading group of legal administrators.

The Consistence Confirmations and Action Taken Reports were assembled by 14 states and 2 Affiliation Districts, which didn’t contain fundamental information, for instance, the amount of working police base camp an inside the region, the full scale number of CCTV cameras in each Police central command, the working status of those CCTVs and the circumstance with the constitution of the oversight gatherings or nuances of those which have proactively been made wasn’t given. Seeing such a sad response, the Supreme Court impugned the States and has given explicit guidelines thinking about a comparative in the ongoing judgment.

Issues Rose:

1. How far along is the installation of CCTV cameras at police stations?

2. What is the status of the Central Oversight Body’s (COB) composition?

3. Is the state abiding by the CrPC’s Section 161(3) proviso?


Arguments of the Petitioners:

1. The petitioners, represented by various legal professionals and counsel, have approached the court to seek enforcement and implementations of the use of videography and photography in crime scene investigations.

2. The petitioners rely on a previous court order, dated 03.04.2018, in the case of Shafhi Mohammad v. State of Himachal Pradesh[6], where “the court directed the establishment of a Central Oversight Body (COB) “by the “Ministry of Home Affairs to implement” the use of video recording in crime scene investigations[7]. The petitioners argue that this directive is necessary to ensure transparency and accountability in the criminal justice system.

3. The petitioners contend that the use of video recording in crime scene investigations, along with the oversight mechanism of independent committees studying CCTV footage, is crucial in upholding the principles of justice and preventing miscarriage of justice. They argue that the COB should issue appropriate instructions to ensure the phased implementation of videography, with the first phase to be implemented by a specified date.

4. The petitioners point out that a “COB was constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs” pursuant to the court’s directive, and instructions were issued to the Union Territories, “State Governments, and Central Agencies” to effectively implement the use of videography in crime scenes. However, the petitioners argue that “the compliance affidavits and action taken reports submitted by the states and union territories” have been inadequate and fail to provide specific details regarding the installation and functioning of CCTV cameras in police stations.

5. The petitioners further argue that the constitution of oversight committees, as directed by the court in its previous order, has not been properly carried out by the states and union territories. They emphasize the importance of having oversight committees at both the state and district levels to ensure proper monitoring and adherence to the directives.

6. The petitioners may argue that the “installation of CCTV cameras and recording equipment in the” mentioned offices of investigative and enforcement agencies is necessary to ensure transparency, accountability, and protection of human rights.

7. They may contend that CCTV surveillance will act as a deterrent against human rights violations during interrogations and arrests, as well as prevent any potential abuse of power by officials.

8. The petitioners may assert that the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India[8], which include the right to life and personal liberty, necessitate the implementation of these measures to safeguard the rights of every citizen.

9. They may also argue that the delay in implementing such measures, despite a previous court order, indicates a lack of action and a disregard for constitutional rights, thereby emphasising the need for immediate compliance.

Arguments of the Respondents:

1. The respondents, likely the Union of India and the concerned investigative and enforcement agencies, may argue that their existing protocols and procedures already ensure the protection of human rights during interrogations and arrests.

2. They may contend that the installation of CCTV cameras in every office may be logistically and financially challenging, and could potentially compromise the privacy and security of sensitive investigations.

3. The respondents may also assert that the previous court order did not explicitly mandate the installation of CCTV cameras in all offices, and that the current request goes beyond the scope of the initial ruling.

4. They may argue that alternative measures, such as internal accountability mechanisms and periodic audits, are already in place to address any potential human rights violations and ensure the proper functioning of these agencies.[9]


The Supreme Court has given orders with respect to the arrangement of oversight boards of trustees at both the State and locale levels, illustrating their obligations. Furthermore, the Court has ordered the establishment of CCTV cameras in all police headquarters across the state and association regions. These cameras ought to be furnished with night vision abilities and should catch sound and video film. It is the obligation of the state lawmakers to guarantee the establishment of CCTV cameras in each police headquarters inside their separate regions. The cameras ought to be set at different areas, including section and leave focuses, the principal entryway of the police base camp, lock-ups, ways, meeting rooms, assessor’s room, sub-overseer’s room, regions outside the lock-up room, and the station hallway, to guarantee thorough inclusion. Besides, the Court has guided the central government to introduce CCTV cameras and keep gear in the offices of organisations like the CBI, NIA, and NCB, as per their judgment. The recording framework ought to hold information for at least year and a half. To illuminate general society about the reconnaissance, huge banners in English, Hindi, and the neighbourhood language should be shown both outside and inside the police headquarters. The state and association region monetary divisions are responsible for the suitable allotment of assets. Furthermore, the Court has trained that causes connected with custodial passings ought to be accounted for not exclusively to the State Basic liberties Commission yet additionally to a common freedoms association that should be laid out in each locale of each and every state and association region.[10]


Even when expressed in highly articulate language, the decision is indefensible. It provided a foolproof method to prevent false and fabricated charges, as well as unjust prosecutions, and served as a strong defence against a government willing to exploit its power. The Supreme Court remained resolute, rejecting any weak justifications related to police procedures, operational methods, interrogation techniques, and intentional suppression of freedom, all of which involved significant violations of human rights.

The concept of “Article 21, which encompasses the right to life and personal liberty”, includes various human rights and the elimination of abusive treatment while in custody. This landmark judgment places immense importance “on the fundamental right to life”. Indirectly, the Supreme Court’s decision acknowledges this reality and rectifies the flaws in excessively harsh legislation that is legitimately intended to protect national security. The ruling upholds principles of natural justice by granting the victim access to video evidence depicting the use of apparent force against them. This verdict establishes a strong basis for human rights and virtues and represents a significant step towards their restoration. It is crucial for citizens to be aware that their guardians are watchful, dedicated, unwavering, and undeterred in their commitment.


The conclusion emphasises the significance of human rights and the eradication of custodial torture, which is a direct infringement on the Right to Life. Justice R.F. Nariman’s recent ruling is commendable for its efforts to uphold human rights.

The interpretation of Article 21, “Right to life and personal liberty,” encompasses various human rights aspects and addresses the elimination of mistreatment during imprisonment. This ruling places great importance on “the fundamental right to life.” The Supreme Court decision recognises this and rectifies flaws within stringent laws enacted “in the name of national security”. By granting the victim a copy of the video evidence depicting their alleged abuse, the judgement aligns with principles of fairness and natural justice.

Author Name: Chirayu Singh Thakur

College Name: School of Law, MIT WPU, Pune

[1] Section 161 cl(3) of The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

[2] D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal & Others, (2015) 8 SCC 744. (last visited, 18th June, 2023).

[3] Shafhi Mohammad v. State of Himachal Pradesh, (2018) 5 SCC 311. (last visited, 18th June, 2023).

[4] Paramvir Singh Saini v. Baljit Singh, (2021) 1 SCC 184 (last visited, 18th June, 2023).

[5] Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, 161, No. 3, Acts of Parliament, 1973 (India). (last visited, 19th June, 2023).

[6] Shafhi Mohammad v. State of Himachal Pradesh, SLP(Crl.)No.2302 of 2017. (last visited, 1st July, 2023).

[7] Sippy murder case: Accused files plea for contempt proceedings against CBI officials, Tribune India, 2023 (last visited, 19th June, 2023).

[8] Article 21 of the Constitution of India (last visited, 1 July 2023).

[9] (last visited, 19th June, 2023).

[10] (last visited, 19th June, 2023).