The Mumbai civil and sessions court will be the first court in the city to have CCTV cameras. The law and judiciary department is in the process of installing more than 100 cameras on the court premises at Kalaghoda, which the department intends to complete by January 2016.
Sources in the law and judiciary department said the plan had been put in place by the guardian j udge j ustice AS Oka, principle sessions judge Sangitrao S Patil and designated TADA judge GA Sanap.
According to highly-placed sources, as per the scheme, 42 cameras will be installed in the registry department in a bid to increase the efficiency and reduce the corruption. Around 59 cameras would be installed on the court premises. The scheme has been devised to increase the efficiency of the staff and to monitor the movements in the corridors.
An officer responsible for the court’s administration said, “We have taken certain steps that includes building a high compound wall around the cour t premises. The plans are part of the security enhancement scheme, which is in process.”
He added that the installation of CCTV cameras was part of this scheme and the idea is to keep a watch on activities in the court.
The officer said given that a number of sensitive cases are tried in the court and instances of accused flouting laws on its premises, there is a need for surveillance.
For instance, recently 1993 serial blasts accused Mustafa Dossa allegedly auditioned a model for his jewellery shop advertisement on the court premises. Two years ago, an Indian Mujahideen accused in Afzal Usmani managed to escape from the court compound.
“After several such i ncidents, the department decided to introduce a scheme to avoid such things from happening in future,” the officer added.
The footage of the CCTV cameras will be preserved for 15 days and then it will be transferred to Mumbai police, who will preserve the footage for lifetime for future use, he added.