Chandigarh stalking: Crucial CCTV footage missing, says Barala’s lawyer
The police, so far, have supplied four CCTV footages to accused — obtained from a private shop, two private institutions and a house in Sector 26.punjab Updated: Jan 10, 2018 12:25 IST
Vikas Barala’s lawyer questioned in court as to how the police have failed to provide crucial closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of roads on which he had allegedly stalked Varnika Kundu and the Sector-26 police station where the case was registered on the intervening night of August 4 and 5 last year.
Barala’s counsel suggested during Varnika’s cross-examination that the CCTV footage has been “suppressed and concealed” by the prosecution.
“I have made personal visits to some areas. Transport Chowk had seven CCTV cameras installed by the administration. But we were given footage of only private CCTVs,” defence lawyer Rabindra Pandit said.
The police, so far, have supplied four CCTV footages to accused — obtained from a private shop, two private institutions and a house in Sector 26. From Sector 8 to Panchkula, the route taken by Varnika, there are around 90-odd cameras installed. However, Pandit said they have not been provided with footage of any of the cameras.
“Why the CCTV footage of the cameras installed by Chandigarh Police in Sector 26 and on PCR vans has not been provided to us?” Pandit questioned Varnika, to which the judge said he should take it up with the investigating officer instead.
Kin had filed RTI too
Barala’s family members had also filed RTI pleas to obtain CCTV footage of government-run cameras, but did not succeed.
One such RTI application was filed in September 2017, a copy of which is now with HT, by Barala’s cousin Jaideep seeking CCTV footage of the Sector-26 police station.
The administration responded that the CCTV footage was not available with them and hence could not be supplied. Police had also replied that no advocate was present at the police station with Varnika and her father, which has now been proved otherwise.
The RTI reply to Jaideep’s plea says, “… data of DVR system of PS-26 is available from August 19, 2017, to September 4, 2017, as the capacity of HDD is approx 15 days. Further, as per report of SHO/26, keeping in view the secrecy of police station, the sought information cannot be supplied.”