“We are not putting cameras in people’s bedrooms,” Kejriwal’s reply to Delhi LG

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Installing CCTV cameras was one of the key poll promises of Delhi’s AAP government when the party sought votes from electorates in the national capital in early 2015 during the assembly elections.

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Three and a bit more years his party won a historic landslide, the city’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, finally announced his intention to execute his key election promise. But his plans were met with objections by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

News agency ANI quoted the LG office as saying, “The fact that more than two lakh cameras have already been installed in the city without coordination highlights the need for a proper framework and information mechanism so that all CCTVs in public places installed in Delhi work optimally.”

It further added, “There’ve been reported instances of misuse of CCTVs for intrusion&compromises on privacy of individuals. Use of surveillance camera system shouldn’t be permitted to become tool to violate privacy of individuals which has been held to be fundamental right by SC: LG Office response,”

Reacting angrily to the LG’s objections, Kejriwal tweeted, “Sir, we r not putting cameras in people’s bedrooms. I fail to understand what purpose wud be served by making police license mandatory for CCTV cameras? Height of license raaj. (sic)”

Earlier on Sunday, while addressing a crowd in Delhi, Kejriwal had torn a report from the LG, who had reportedly asked for a mandatory obtaining of licence for installation of CCTV cameras in the city. “Licence means give money and take licence. It is the will of the people that this report should be torn,” Kejriwal had said while tearing the pages of the report.

Earlier this month on 4 July, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Lt Governor cannot refer all matters to the President adding that the Delhi cannot have full statehood in view of an earlier nine-judge judgment. However, differences had cropped up on the contentious topic of the management of city’s officers, their transfers and posting.

The AAP government later moved the top court seeking direction on the topic. The matter is currently being heard by the Supreme Court.

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