Why no fixed working hours for cops, asks Madras High Court

Chennai: Madras high court on Monday directed the authorities to answer a query as to why not the state government fix definite working hours for the police force.

In the absence of the same, police personnel are made to work round the clock, keeping them away from their families for a long time, leading to frustration and mental disturbance, which is the prime reason for deviant behaviour, including violence and corruption.

Justice N. Kirubakaran posed six other queries additionally, to be answered by the authorities and posted to April 23, further hearing of the petition filed by a policeman, seeking a direction to complete investigation in the case filed against his wife and her paramour.

The judge had on March 19 posed 12 queries to be answered by the authorities. Accordingly, Maheswaran, assistant inspector general of police (law and order), filed a status report answering the queries. The status report among other things said that the government by an order dated September 5, 1979, had abolished the orderly system in the police department.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the details furnished by the official and pointing out that certain details were misleading or suppressed, the judge said, “Certain queries such as fixing of police-people ratio have not even been answered.

Therefore, the official, who has filed the affidavit is directed to appear before this court on the next hearing, especially with regard to the number of persons employed as orderlies”.

The judge said advocate general has filed the status report giving reply for some of the queries raised in the earlier order. However, certain queries raised by this court have not been answered.

Further, advocate general submitted that with regard to formation of commission to look into the grievances and service conditions of police personnel and suggesting remedial measures, a decision has to be taken at the higher level.

Therefore, he seeks four weeks, the judge added.The judge said a perusal of the status report show that the number of police personnel deserting the police force increased to 1,039 in 2017 from 608 in 2008.

For the past 10 years, about 296 police personnel committed suicide and 3,032 police personnel were said to have died, while in service, for various reasons.

Though the status report was filed by the authorities prima facie gave details as sought for by this court, certain details were misleading or suppressed, the judge added.

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