Even as the State promised the Karnataka High Court on Monday that it would fill 14,000 vacant posts of constables, it has emerged that more than 3,000 police constables and head constables are working as orderlies and performing menial work at the residences of police officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and above.
The Mahiti Hakku Adhyayana Kendra, Vijayanagar, Bangalore, which conducted the social audit on orderlies, noted that many of them are even working for retired senior police officers illegally.
The expenditure incurred by the State government for providing orderlies to police officers is about Rs. 78 crore a year. Average salary, including all benefits, of a police constable and head constable is about Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh a year, said the audit report conducted for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
B.H. Veeresh, trustee of the kendra, said: “There are no guidelines, circulars, communications, orders issued in respect of administration of orderlies in the Police Department.”
In the absence of clear guidelines, orderlies are asked to do tasks such as washing clothes, mopping floor, gardening, shopping, and taking care of dogs. “Orderlies are being used as an alternative to domestic help,” he said.
Noting that guidelines specifying the duties and responsibilities of orderlies need to be formulated, he said that the department had not maintained a list of officers who are provided with orderlies.
“This is done as per the Police Manual which is from the British times,” said Mr. Veeresh.
Mr. Veeresh added that there was no method in why some officers were provided orderlies, while others were not.
There have been instances of police constables spending their entire service as orderlies till their retirement, the kendra said in its note.
Unlike in the past, many graduate and postgraduate candidates are recruited as police constables and given rigorous training.
“Utilising the services of a public servant for performing domestic work at the residence of a police officer is ludicrous and inhuman. It is time the Police Manual was revised and the duties and responsibilities of orderlies provided to police officers redefined,” said Mr. Veeresh.