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CCTVs in schools: Password of footage will be given to parents only, says Delhi govt

Sanjoy Ghose, standing counsel for the Delhi government, made the submission before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and justice V Kameswar Rao while they were hearing a petition which had challenged the move of the Delhi government to install CCTVs in classrooms.

delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2018 02:30 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CCTV,Password,Delhi govt
The counsel appearing for the petitioner, Jai Dehadrai, contended that with the installation of cameras, privacy of the students would be compromised. He contended that there is a specific portion of the privacy judgment which states that a group of students should also be given privacy. (Picture for representation)

The Delhi government informed the Delhi high court on Tuesday that the footage from the CCTV cameras to be installed in classrooms of state-run schools would be password-protected. It also submitted that the passwords will be given only to the parents.

Sanjoy Ghose, standing counsel for the Delhi government, made the submission before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and justice V Kameswar Rao while they were hearing a petition which had challenged the move of the Delhi government to install CCTVs in classrooms.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner, Jai Dehadrai, contended that with the installation of cameras, privacy of the students would be compromised. He contended that there is a specific portion of the privacy judgment which states that a group of students should also be given privacy.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government also filed a status report stating the reasons for the decision to install CCTVs in schools. The report stated that incidents of sexual abuse and bullying are taking place in schools and this is not limited to female students.

“Sexual abuse and bullying are unfortunate truths which happen not only against girl children but are equally prevalent menaces against boy students. Similar problems are being faced almost on a daily basis by lady teachers. On the flip side, there are false allegations also to defame or harass some teachers for ulterior motives,” the report said.

The petitioner, Daniel George, had sought the setting aside of the proposed supply, installation, test and commission of the CCTV cameras in government schools. The government told the court that the installation of the cameras was also important to check absenteeism, late coming, or teachers not taking classes.

“The Delhi government has been investing about 25% state budgetary resources on the education sector and it is the hard earned taxpayers’ money and all of us, including the teachers, are accountable to the public,” it said.

The report further stated that the CCTVs would also keep a check on incidents of vandalism of school property as the government had invested heavily on infrastructure in terms of
new buildings, classrooms, laboratories etc.

It, however, stated that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for monitoring of the CCTVs is yet to be devised by the competent authority even as the PWD has incorporated certain technical provisions in the request for proposal to monitor the project.

The court took the status report on record and fixed September 13 as the next date of hearing.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 02:30 IST