CCTVs: An invasion of privacy?

If CCTVs are showcased as a recipe to tackle burning issues like ragging and question paper leakages, many fear such technologies have in fact, “invaded” the one secure space of a child to develop. But school, college and university officials are convinced that CCTVs today play a pivotal role in identifying miscreants and putting a stranglehold on questionable activities.

“I would rather choose saving the life of an innocent over the issue of privacy,” says Bangalore University Vice -Chancellor, Dr Prabhu Dev. Certain private universities had recently installed such CCTVs in their campuses, Prabhu Dev feels it is quite a feasible idea to provide a deterring cover to the entire ragging menace in educational institutions. He is even ready to go one step ahead and consider installing cameras at all the 59 discipline centres in Jnana Bharathi to curb illegal activities. 

Bangalore University is currently installing CCTVs to keep an eye over the evaluators of the university examination papers at the “Examination Complex” being built at Jnana Bharathi campus.

Does these moves go with the Supreme Court’s observation on the privacy issue? Here’s what the apex court had to say in one of its verdicts: “Those who feel called upon to deprive other persons of their personal liberty in the discharge of what they conceive to be their duty must strictly and scrupulously observe the forms and rules of the law”.

The Apex Court has in most of its judgements construed the “Right to Privacy” as a part of the Fundamental Right to “Protection of life and liberty” under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Only time will tell whether the measures taken by private educational institutions and the University VC’s views can be construed as “discharging their duty” and adheres to “scrupulously observing the forms and rules of law.”

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