Expedite proposals for inducting more police personnel: Delhi HC

Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to expeditiously approve the proposal by city police for induction of over 16,000 additional personnel, including a dedicated force for crime investigation.

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to expeditiously approve the proposal by city police for induction of over 16,000 additional personnel, including a dedicated force for crime investigation.

A bench of Justices BD Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva expressed happiness over bifurcation of crime investigation from law and order duties, saying "this will go a long way in providing better investigation of crime, resulting in the actual perpetrators being convicted finally by courts of law".

It also hoped that the dedicated force will comprise of people "having requisite investigative skills" and suggested that they be trained in "special investigative techniques" by keeping in mind the modern investigation methods and the different kinds of crimes being committed.

It also directed the central government to expedite the other 14 priority proposals sent by Delhi police for 11,962 more posts, saying the entire exercise be preferably completed by May 20, the next date of hearing.

On installation of CCTV cameras, the court directed that once the vulnerable areas are identified by Delhi police, the cameras should be installed within two months.

It said that while installing the cameras "special regard be given to maintaining privacy of individuals" and that CCTV be installed in public areas "without encroaching upon privacy of people".

The court, however, was not happy over method of procuring equipment for Regional Forensic Science Laboratories (RFSL), saying it was a "major problem" which requires some "thinking" by the government.

The bench made the observation after Delhi government informed it that it needs to procure equipments with regard to audio-video, computer forensics and DNA testing, for its RFSL at Yashwant Place here, and sanctions for these have to be sought afresh as the ones granted earlier have lapsed.

The government said they will have to see whether prices have fallen prior to seeking fresh sanction.

To this the court responded, "This is a major problem with this country. An expensive equipment may be better, but we are stuck with a third class equipment as it was the cheapest (during procurement)."

The court, thereafter, directed the city government's finance department to "expedite the necessary sanctions for procurement" for equipment for Yashwant Place RFSL and hoped that it "shall be completed in two months".

With regard to RFSL at Rohini, the court directed the Fire department and the city government's finance department to expedite grant of no objection certificate and approvals, respectively.

Regarding RFSL at Sayurpur here, the court directed DDA to conclude verification of title with respect to handing over additional 5000 square meters of land within six weeks.

DDA was also directed to give land to Delhi government for approach road to Sheikh Sarai RFSL within two months.

On recruitment of more people for manning RFSLs and Crime Scene Management Division, the court directed DSSSB and UPSC "to expedite selection process".

On March 20, the city police had told the court that it will first install CCTV cameras at all vulnerable locations in the 44 red-flagged areas in the national capital once it finished survey of the sites and worked out the technical specifications.

In its affidavit, the Delhi Police had said the sites will be surveyed in respect to the required technical support and after the finalisation of the technical specifications, "a consolidated proposal will be forwarded to the Home Ministry for procurement of the cameras", adding that this exercise will require one more month.

On the issue of creating additional posts in the Delhi Police, the police had said that the Home Ministry has sent them a proposal for the creation of 4,749 posts to internal finance department of MHA to proceed further, increasing the total number of additional posts required to over 16,000.

On January 30, the court had directed Delhi Police to submit an action plan on where CCTV cameras can be "deployed" by "keeping in mind the crime mapping already done".

The court had also sought an affidavit indicating steps taken to induct additional force.

The affidavits were filed on a PIL initiated by the court on its own after the December 16 gang-rape incident and in which an application was filed by advocate Meera Bhatia seeking that the CCTV cameras installed for US President Barack Obama's security during his January visit should not be removed.

On the issue of crime scene mobile forensic units, Delhi government had said there is no extra sanctioned staff for this unit and the existing personnel engaged in the case work during normal duty hours were being deployed for visiting crime scenes.

As a result, government has proposed to establish 11 mobile forensic units along with one crime scene management division for visiting crime scenes, it had said.

It had also said that initially there will be four crime scene vehicles (CSV) with scientific kits and 138 posts and orders have been placed for two crime scene vehicles in this regard, adding that "however, manpower is yet to be sanctioned by the finance department".

Delhi Development Authority had also submitted in its affidavit that it has already handed over in 2014 three sites - at Sayurpur, Rohini and Sheikh Sarai - to Delhi government for setting up its RFSLs.

Earlier, the court had come down heavily on the Centre and Delhi Police asking why they had not installed CCTVs to beef up security of women in the national capital but had done so only for a visiting head of state.

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