‘Explain how CCTVs will affect privacy of students’, asks Delhi HC
Advocate Dehadrai told the court that installation of cameras in classrooms and live streaming of footage was an absolute violation of privacy as envisaged by a judgment delivered by the nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy on August 24, 2017.Updated: Aug 02, 2019, 00:33 IST
The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought to know as to how the privacy of students studying in state-run schools would be affected if CCTVs were installed in classrooms.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar posed the question to advocate Jai Dehadrai, counsel for petitioner Daniel George, who had challenged the Delhi government’s decision to install CCTVs in state-run schools.
Advocate Dehadrai told the court that installation of cameras in classrooms and live streaming of footage was an absolute violation of privacy as envisaged by ajudgment delivered by the nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy on August 24, 2017.
He said the Delhi Government had failed to show the presence of requisite data security and deletion policies and infrastructure in terms of the video data that would be created as a result of constant surveillance.
The court then asked, “What is the privacy you want in a classroom? What is the additional degree of privacy you are claiming in a classroom? The pictures and videos of students have already been captured by CCTVs on road, inside the campus and in the corridors of the school”.
The court sought to know the various degrees of privacy and asked the petitioner’s counsel to present his arguments on November 26, the next date of hearing.
Earlier this year, the high court had refused to stay the installation of CCTVs in classrooms. In an interim order, the court had said there nothing private was being done in the classrooms and hence there was “no privacy issue”.
Around 1, 50,000 cameras are to be installed in all government schools and the project is scheduled to be completed by November.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the project at Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Lajpat Nagar on July 6. Around 210 cameras have been installed in classrooms, corridors and the school playground.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation also installed CCTV cameras in all primary schools in its ambit, outdoing its north and east counterparts, which are either still awaiting funds or stopped the process at the tendering stage.