Madras HC raises concern for Police Officers mental and physical health

Madras HC takes Cognizance on alleged Sexual harassment case on Woman IPS Officer

The Madras High Court (Madurai bench) of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice B. Pugalendhi  on Monday (December 7th) took notice of suicides and desertions within police force and observed that “there is no mechanism available in the police force and that is the reason why so many genuine grievances of police cannot he addressed.” The court also noted that Uniformed Police force is under stress both physically and psychologically.

The court observed in the case that frustrated police personnel are more towards taking emotional decision, the bench also took note of the fact that- “the police constables are denied leave for even attending their children’s birthdays, marriage celebrations or festivals unreasonably.”

The court also said that most police personnel lack management skill and due to that most of them become addict to alcohol and some commit suicide. It also added that police personnel work round the clock without taking proper rest and not even any day’s off, even when the staff of other departments has holidays of two days a week.

The court made a strong comment while saying that- Unless the welfare of the Police Force is looked into properly and their morale is kept up, it is very difficult to maintain law and order and detect and prevent the crimes.”

The HC bench raised various questions and noted that teachers who work in elementary school are getting more salary than a police official in the state of Tamil Nadu and some of the queries rose towards respondents’ are-1. What are all the problems faced by the Policemen in general?2. Is there any mechanism available to express their grievances to the Higher Authorities, as Police Association is prohibited in Police Force?3. Whether time-bound promotions are given to the Police Force?4. Whether the orderly system has been dispensed with or still it is followed by the Police Force, violating the Government Order passed in 1979?5. Whether the one-day statutory holiday is being given to the Police Force?6. Why not dispense with an allowance given, in lieu of week-end holidays for work?7. Whether the Police People are given leave for attending social functions and also birthday functions of their children?8. How many desertions have taken place for the past 10 years?9. How many Policemen committed suicide for the past 10 years?10. How many persons died due to health issues?11. How many posts are vacant in the Police Force? [Cadre-wise and categorywise details to be given for each Wing viz., Law and Order, Crimes, Traffic, etc.]12. When the last recruitment made and how many posts were are vacant as on today in the Police Force?13. What are the steps taken to fill up the vacant posts?14. What are the existing ratio and the required ratio of Policemen vis-a-vis the population?15. Whether strength of the Police Force is increased according to increase in population?16. Whether the Police Force is having any special insurance benefits, as they are facing risks while discharging their duties? If it is so, give the details of the same?17. How many Police Persons are facing criminal cases and departmental proceedings as on date?18. Is it a fact that the pay scale of Policemen and Elementary School Teachers was one and the same at one point of time and there is a huge gap in between the present pay scale between them?19. Why not the pay scale of the Police Force is increased, considering the risks involved in discharge of their duties?

The court has ordered the respondents to file reply by December 12th, 2020 on the above questions and also pay band of police in Tamil Nadu as compared to other states.