Court security: Another camera disabled by electricity theft

Load on court UPS threatened to crash entire monitoring system.


Rana Yasif August 03, 2011

LAHORE:


A CCTV camera installed at the Sessions Court’s gate near the Bakhshi Khana has been disconnected to prevent the entire security monitoring system from crashing due to apparent electricity theft by lawyers, The Express Tribune has learnt.


Video streams from the 59 CCTV cameras installed at the courts are viewed and recorded on screens in a small monitoring room in the Sessions Court building. A few days ago, a source said on the condition of anonymity, those streams started hanging.

Also, the UPS on which the whole system runs during power outages kept switching off.

When officials investigated, they found illegal connections running into lawyers’ chambers from the wire supplying power to the camera. “The lawyers were using the connections to run their fans during load-shedding hours,” said the source.

He said that they informed Sessions Judge Abdul Waheed Khan about the problem and he directed them to disconnect the wire to the camera.

That camera is now off and not recording the people entering and exiting from the gate near the Bakhshi Khan of the Sessions Court.

The judge is currently on holiday because the courts are on their annual one-month summer break.

Three months ago, a CCTV camera installed at the gate next to the Baba Ground was removed because of the same reason, ie, lawyers stealing electricity.

On that occasion, the sessions judge had ordered officials to disconnect the camera while a new connection was set up encased in plastic piping and high in the air, out of the reach of electricity thieves.

Security at the city’s courts has been a pressing concern over recent months, with several violent incidents reported.

Two brothers were shot and killed in front of an additional district and sessions judge during a murder trial a couple of months ago, and a handcuffed prisoner armed with a razor blade tried to attack a magistrate a few weeks later.

Talking to The Express Tribune, several lawyers expressed shock over the disconnection of the camera. They said that the sessions judge should act against the electricity thieves. Disconnecting the camera was no solution, they said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2011.

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