Karnataka HC asks police to consider using body cameras during arrests

Karnataka High Court has asked Karnataka Police to make efforts to provide body cameras to police personnel involved in carrying out the arrests, in order to keep records of the arrest process.

The Supreme Court order comes in the context of a case in which the petitioner, a law student, demanded compensation of 25,000 lakh rupees from the state after he was allegedly humiliated by the police by handcuffing him while being taken to court on a public bus after arrest in a bounced check case that was filed In the Bilagavi district of Karnataka in 2019.

The Supreme Court rejected the petition of the Karnataka government that petitioner Subrit Ishwar Devait’s hands were tied while he was being brought to court due to insufficient police personnel to perform court duties at Ankali Police Station in Chikodi where he was detained.

The Supreme Court ordered the state to “pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the petitioner within six weeks” upon receipt of the 10 June court order.

The Supreme Court said the government’s claim that “the petitioner’s handcuffing was resorted to due to the lack of sufficient police personnel to protect and prevent the escape, if any, is not an excuse at all.” The Single Judge of the Dharwad District Court of the Supreme Court noted in his order: “The State shall provide all police stations with the appropriate and necessary police personnel necessary for the performance of the duties and obligations of the State.”

The Supreme Court directed the government’s pleading to submit court notes to notify the Director General of Police and the Principal Secretary of the Interior “in order to prepare a plan and complete the recruitment within a specified time frame”.

The Supreme Court also asked the state police chief to make efforts to provide body cameras to all officers making arrests in order to obtain a record of the arrest. The Supreme Court said in its order: “The Director General of Police shall also endeavor to provide body cameras to all police officers authorized to arrest a person so that the method of arrest is recorded by these body cameras.”

The camera must also be equipped with a microphone to record the conversations taking place at the time. The video recording as well as the audio recording must be kept for at least one year from the date of recording. The Supreme Court noted that the Director General of Police must prepare a standard operating procedure in this regard and provide appropriate training for these officers.

The Supreme Court said that, as far as possible, police making arrests should obtain permission from the courts to handcuff detainees. “As far as possible, permission to handcuff a prisoner on trial must be obtained before a prisoner on trial is brought before the court and an order for handcuffing should be obtained from the said court. If no such permission is given and prisoners on trial are handcuffed, the police officer concerned will risk declaring that no legality of this restriction and action against them,” the Supreme Court noted.

Leave a Comment