February 24, 2017
To demystify the criminal justice system for students, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) showcased its groundbreaking multimedia tool--“Virtual Police Station” (VPS) at the inauguration of Amity Law School’s legal aid clinic in Kolkata today.
The presentation was followed by a discussion on policing and human rights with eminent luminaries such as Justice Ruma Pal, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India & Member of CHRI’s Executive Council; Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice Chancellor, Amity University Kolkata; Debashish Roy, Additional Director General and Inspector General of Police, West Bengal Human Rights Commission; KK Mallick, Inspector General of Police, Telecommunications, West Bengal and Devika Prasad, Coordinator, Police Reforms Programme, CHRI.
This was the first time the VPS was demonstrated in West Bengal, since the application’s launch in November 2015. CHRI joined hands with the Amity Law School for this special program following the latter’s plan to establish the legal aid clinic. The clinic aims to raise public awareness on law and provide legal assistance and advice to the public where possible.
For students and the public, a detailed understanding of legal procedures and how the police should interact with the people they come in contact with is essential. This is because the police are at the frontline of the criminal justice system. And that is where the VPS comes in. Developed by CHRI with the cooperation of the Rajasthan Police, this is a first-of-its-kind multimedia training tool that provides information and visuals at the click of a mouse. The VPS makes use of 360-degree video technology. Users can virtually “walk through” every room of a police station and learn the laws and procedures relating to registering complaints, arrest, and more.
Appreciating the VPS, Justice Pal said, “It helps the police officers in understanding their roles and duties, public in understanding their rights and ultimately building trust within an agency.” Mullick called VPS a ‘very useful and intelligently designed tool’, and said, “One of the biggest achievements is that it charts out the rights and privileges of the accused along with the duties of the Police Officers. This would go a long way in helping the both the public as well as the police officers in asserting their rights and fulfilling their duties. It takes a huge step in spreading legal awareness."