The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the AAP government to explain the reasons and circumstances behind its proposal to install over 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras in State-run schools.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar posed the query while hearing a petition seeking direction to the authorities to not put CCTV cameras inside the classrooms.

While agreeing that the issue brought up by advocate Jai Dehadrai was “something to look into”, the Bench wondered if the argument for right to privacy of the children will apply, if CCTVs are placed inside classrooms.

Effect on children

The Bench noted that “the whole idea of being under constant surveillance or scrutiny” and its effect on the children needed further deliberation.

The Delhi government, represented by Additional Standing Counsel Sanjoy Ghosh, argued that schools in most of the first-world countries have cameras inside classrooms and school campus for safety reasons.

Mr. Dehadrai told the court that it was not healthy to have cameras inside classrooms where children, including girls, often discuss personal things amongst themselves. He also said the constant scrutiny by cameras in a classroom would have a psychological impact on the children apart from raising concerns of voyeurism and stalking.

The petitioner, Daniel George, in his plea has contended that installing cameras without any regulatory mechanism on access to its footage could lead to incidents of stalking and molestation.

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