Supreme Court denies to stay CCTV installation in Delhi classrooms

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New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay a plea challenging the Delhi government’s plan to put up CCTV cameras in schools in the national capital.

The order by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi came on a public interest litigation filed by Amber Tickoo, a 20-year-old law student at the National Law University, Delhi.

The petitioner wanted to stay the Delhi government plan to install 1.46 lakh CCTVs in classrooms and labs of government schools.

The petitioner told the court that the CCTV cameras will adversely impact the privacy of students, especially girls, and female teachers.

The decision to install them was taken at an emergency meeting on September 11, 2017 by Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia purportedly on the grounds of incidents of child abuse in some schools.

The government had made it mandatory for public-aided schools to follow the decision.

The advocates added that this would amount to keeping a constant surveillance on teachers and students.

The petitioner requested the court to set aside the decision on CCTV cameras and providing online access to parents of the CCTV footage.

The petitioner’s counsel said the decision was taken without undertaking any research and study into the ramifications of such a move.

The provision of data security and the psychological impact of the installation on young children was not considered, they said.

Further, no consent of the parents or teachers was considered before taking the decision, the plea said.

On December 11, 2017, it was decided to provide online access to parents to see their child’s classroom.

The petitioner said that CCTVs will have a chilling effect on the growth and development of children.

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