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SC seeks status report on CCTVs at police stations

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories to furnish within two months status of

CCTV installation

in all 16,000 police stations across the country, even though many of them lack vehicles, phones, wireless sets and facilities for drinking water and clean toilets.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee said, “We wish to know the exact position as to CCTV cameras in police stations as well as the constitution of oversight committees in accordance with our April 3, 2018 order.”

There are around 10,000-odd police stations in rural areas and over 5,000 in urban areas. India has a police force of nearly 23 lakh, of which only six lakh have got family accommodation.

The bench said, “We also expect the chief secretary of each state and Union Territory to take this matter seriously and in right earnest since it involves the fundamental rights of the citizen under Article 21 of the

Constitution of India

. The data to be furnished to this court positively before the next date of hearing, November 24.”

On April 3, 2018, the court had dealt with issues relating to use of videography by police while investigating a crime scene and policemen using body cameras, as is the practice in western countries, to stop hooligans from indulging in unlawful behaviour. However, it had focused on installation of CCTV cameras in police stations and prisons to check

human rights

abuse. It had also discussed setting up of oversight bodies to regularly go through the CCTV footage from police stations and recommend remedial measures to states.

The bench accepted

amicus curiae

Sidharth Dave’s suggestion to focus only on installation of CCTV cameras in police stations for the present.

A bench, of which Justice Nariman was a part, had in 2018 favoured equipping the police with videography tools for investigation as well as controlling law and order situations.

“We are of the considered view that notwithstanding the fact that as of now, investigating agencies in India are not fully equipped and prepared for the use of videography, the time is ripe that steps are taken to introduce videography in investigation, particularly for crime scene as desirable and acceptable best practice as suggested by the committee of the MHA to strengthen the rule of law. We approve the centrally driven plan of action prepared by the committee and the timeline as mentioned above. Let the consequential steps for implementation thereof be taken at the earliest,” it had said.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

At UN speech, UK PM speaks on vaccine distribution in partnership with India

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LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a special reference to India’s role in the manufacture and access to one of the most promising coronavirus vaccine candidates currently undergoing trials during his address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

In reference to the vaccine being worked on by the University of Oxford, Johnson stressed the importance of equitable access of any successful vaccine because the health of every country depends on the whole world having access to a safe and effective vaccine, wherever a breakthrough might occur.

“As I speak there are 100 potential vaccines that are trying to clear the hurdles of safety and efficacy, as if in a giant global steeplechase,” Johnson said in a prerecorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.

“The Oxford vaccine is now in Stage 3 of clinical trials, and in case of success AstraZeneca has already begun to manufacture millions of doses, in readiness for rapid distribution, and they have reached agreement with the Serum Institute of India to supply 1 billion doses to low and middle-income countries,” he said.

Declaring that “humanity was caught napping” as the pandemic struck and has been “scrabbling to catch up” ever since, Johnson issued a spirited defence of the World Health Organisation as the one body that marshals humanity against the legions of disease and confirmed increased investment that would make the UK the largest state donor to the UN health agency if US President Donald Trump’s exit from the multilateral body goes through next year.

He pushed for greater international collaboration to fight a common enemy such as the virus and urged countries to reach across borders and repair “ugly rifts” and “heal the world”.

“And after nine months of fighting Covid-19, the very notion of the international community looks, frankly, pretty tattered. And we know that we simply can’t continue in this way. Unless we get our act together,” he said.

“That is why we in the UK – global Britain – are one of the biggest global funders of that organisation, contributing 340 million pounds over the next four years, that’s an increase of 30 per cent,” Johnson said.

The biggest single donor to the efforts of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness to find a vaccine and contribution of up to 571 million pounds to COVAX, a new initiative designed to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine across the world, were among some of the other UK initiatives Johnson sought to highlight in his address.

He also called for honesty to reach a joint understanding of how the pandemic began and how it was able to spread as a “moral imperative”, indicating that he had no intention of finger-pointing at China.

“Not because I want to blame any country or government, or to score points. I simply believe – as a former Covid patient – that we all have a right to know, so that we can collectively do our best to prevent a recurrence,” he said.

“And as we now send our medical detectives to interview the witnesses and the suspects – bats, the pangolins, whoever – we should have enough humility to acknowledge that alarm bells were ringing before this calamity struck,” he said.

Describing the pandemic as an “immense psychic shock” to the human race, he declared it outrageous that such a “microscopic enemy” should have routed the unity of the human race as he condemned the perverse ranking of death tolls across different regions of the world.

“Covid-19 has caused us to cease other vital work, and I’m afraid it made individual nations seem selfish and divided from each other. Every day people were openly encouraged to study a grisly reverse Olympic league table, and to take morbid and totally mistaken comfort in the greater sufferings of others,” he said.

“We cannot go on like that, we cannot make these mistakes again,” he concluded.

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INDIA

Jaswant Singh played key role in improving relations with US in defence areas: AK Antony

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NEW DELHI: Former union minister Jaswant Singh was one of the most successful defence ministers, the country has seen and he played a key role in improving relations with the US especially in defence areas, said AK Antony, former defence minister while paying homage to the former.

“I’d like to pay respectful homage in the memory of late Jaswant Singh. He was one of the most successful defence ministers, the country has seen. His military background helped him strengthen our national security and modernise armed forces, said Antony.

“He played a key role in improving relations with the US in defence areas,” he added.

The former union minister passed away today morning, due to a cardiac arrest, at the Army Hospital (Research and Referral), Delhi. According to the hospital, Singh’s Covid-19 status was negative.

“He was admitted on June 25, 2020, and was treated for Sepsis with Multiorgan Dysfunction Syndrome and effects of Severe Head Injury old (Optd) had a Cardiac arrest this morning,” the hospital said.

“Despite the best efforts of the attending team of specialists to resuscitate him, he could not be revived and passed away,” it added.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh also paid tributes to the former union minister.

A veteran BJP leader, Jaswant Singh, had first served in the Indian Army before joining politics. He served as a member of both the Houses of the Parliament and held several important positions in the NDA Cabinet.

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INDIA

Ahead of assembly polls, former Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey joins JDU

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Who is Gupteshwar Pandey, JD(U)’s newest recruit ahead of Bihar polls?

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the assembly polls in Bihar, former Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey on Sunday joined the JD(U) in presence of chief minister and party chief Nitish Kumar. Pandey had met Nitish Kumar in Patna on Saturday, lending credence to speculations that the IPS officer’s sudden move of taking

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