TODAY -

HC disposes PIL on CCTV cameras
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 28 2019: The PIL which sought a CBI enquiry into the issue of procuring and installing defective CCTV cameras in and around Imphal city has been disposed by the High Court of Manipur after its first hearing yesterday.

A judgement passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Lanusungkum Jamir pointed out that necessary action may be taken up as per the law after the enquiry under the State Government is completed.

They also passed an order whereby the PIL was disposed.

The PIL was filed by one Laishram Ibomcha and Advocate H Chandrakumar appeared at the Court on his behalf while the State respondents were represented by Advocate General N Kumarjit.

Chief Secretary, Commissioner/Secretary (Home) and DGP are the respondents of the case.

The petitioner was praying the Court to pass an order to the effect that the Chief Secretary lodges an FIR with police, CBI is roped in for a thorough enquiry, criminal proceedings are initiated against all the culprits and public money swindled in the name of procuring and installing CCTV cameras are recovered from the culprits.

Notably, A total amount of Rs 8,01,54,775 was sanctioned by the State Home Department under the State Plans of 2009-10 and 2010-11 for installation of CCTV cameras in and around Imphal city including the Raj Bhavan and the CM Bungalow areas.

But the CCTV cameras went out of order soon after they were installed which evoked multiple questions like whether the entire process of procuring and installing the CCTV cameras was a sham exercise aimed at swindling public money in cahoots with high profile personalities.

As the non-functional CCTV cameras became a big public issue, then Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Dr J Suresh Babu issued an order on March 31, 2017 whereby a three-member committee was constituted to investigate the issue.

The committee was headed by ADGP Pramod Ashthana as chairman.

The other two members were RD&PR Secretary Sumant Singh and IGP Clay Khongsai.

As per the terms and conditions of the enquiry, the committee should find out whether there was any lapse in the tender process and subsequent procurement and installation of the CCTV cameras, and identify all the persons responsible for the lapses, if there are any.

The order issued by the then Additional Chief Secretary (Home) directed the enquiry committee to submit its report within 15 days.

Laishram Ibomcha, the petitioner, submitted a representation to Chief Minister N Biren on March 6 this year to hand over the case of installation of defective CCTV cameras to CBI.

As there has been no response till date, he filed a PIL at the High Court of Manipur.

The PIL said that the Government is unable to establish the facts behind the procurement and installation of defective CCTV cameras because many high profile personalities, bureaucrats and officers are purportedly involved in the scam.

As such, State Police/Home Department would not be able to carry out any meaningful investigation and prosecute those involved in the crime, said the PIL.

However, during the hearing of the PIL yesterday, Advocate General N Kumarjit said that the enquiry ordered by the State Government would be completed soon even though it was delayed earlier and there is no question of the State Government obstructing the enquiry process.


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