The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed Tamil Nadu government to submit a report with regard to the installation of CCTV cameras at important places, including railway stations, in the wake of the recent daylight murder of 24-year-old woman IT professional at a city station.
Treating a letter by Justice N Kirubakaran of the court to the Chief Justice as suo motu PIL, a bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, issued the notice to Assistant Solicitor General S Srinivasan, Advocate General A L Somayaji and counsel for Railways P T Ramkumar.
It directed them to examine various issues raised in the letter and file their affidavits in four weeks and posted the matter to August 4 for further hearing.
The bench also asked the government to file a report on bringing a legislation on the lines of Andhra Pradesh Public Safety (Measures) Enforcement Act, 2013, which made it mandatory for private establishments to install CCTV cameras.
In his June 27 letter, Justice Kirubakaran had raised about 15 questions to be answered by the state and central agencies and requested the CJ to take it up as suo motu PIL.
Citing the murder of Infosys employee Swathi by an unidentified man on a platform in Nugambakkam railway station in Chennai on June 24 in full public view, the Judge said "this incident should be an eye opener and authorities should wake up to address the issue on a war footing."
The gruesome daylight murder had not only sent shock waves among the masses but also exposed the lack of police patrolling and lack of surveillance by CCTV cameras at important places like railway stations, the Judge said.
Stressing the need for several measures to be taken by both the state and central agencies, the Judge said "when nobody comes forward either to report or to give evidence with regard to crimes committed in the midst of people, it is very necessary to use scientific innovations as a tool to ensure the safety and security of people."
The suo motu PIL has incorporated all the questions posed by Justice Kirubakaran, such as why scientific advancement with its vast benefits was not fully utilised by the central and state agencies for the benefit of people, especially towards their security, by way of installation of CCTV cameras in important places.
Among other queries raised were regarding the number of places where CCTV cameras were already fixed at important public places and direction to Railway Ministry to pay compensation to the family of Swathi who was waiting to board a train on her way to office around 6.30 AM when she was murdered.
Raising several questions about the manner in which the police handled the case, the high court had yesterday cautioned the government that it would suo motu intervene if there was slackness in the investigation.