Tamil Nadu

HC commends DGP for obtaining undertakings from officers against engaging policemen for household work

The format of the undertaking obtained from top police officers in Tamil Nadu. Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu submitted it before the Madras High Court on Thursday.

The format of the undertaking obtained from top police officers in Tamil Nadu. Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu submitted it before the Madras High Court on Thursday.

The Madras High Court on Thursday commended Director- General of Police (DGP) C. Sylendra Babu for having obtained written undertakings from all senior police officers in the State not to put police personnel deployed in their camp/home offices for official work to household or menial work.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam told Additional Advocate-General P. Kumaresan that the court was impressed with the conviction of the DGP in putting an end to the colonial practice of engaging orderlies and for having been the first person to sign the undertaking. “This is a very appreciable action,” the judge said, after reading the format of the undertaking produced in court.

He had on August 12 directed the DGP to file a counter-affidavit listing the steps taken by him so far to abolish, in letter and spirit, the colonial orderly system of engaging policemen to perform household work in the residences of top police officers. He also wanted to know the action taken against the use of black films in police vehicles and police stickers in private vehicles.

Accordingly, the DGP filed an affidavit on Thursday stating that certain colonial practices continued in the police department even after Independence and hence the State government issued an order on September 5, 1979, abolishing the orderly system in accordance with a decision taken at the Chief Ministers’ conference held in New Delhi on June 6, 1979.

Thereafter, police personnel were deputed on an Other Duty (OD) basis only for performing official work at the camp/home offices of top officers. Since police officials work round the clock, they required support staff such as drivers, office assistants, computer operators and wireless communication equipment operators even at their residences, the DGP said.

Conceding that there had been allegations of police personnel having been used for household work by some top officers, the DGP said, “Unfortunately, without adequate knowledge of how the camp office functions, certain sections of the media have wrongly formed an impression that all the higher police officers are involved in wrongdoings.”

The DGP said a camp/home office would normally require 10 police personnel to attend to wireless messages, phone calls, computer operations, driving standby vehicles, receiving letters and attending to rudimentary office works. Now, he had conducted a comprehensive audit to find out the number of police personnel working on an OD basis.

After it was found that 430 excess personnel were working on an OD basis, they had been withdrawn and sent to regular police work. Similarly, black sun films had been removed from 578 police vehicles and police board/stickers had been removed from 8,907 private motor vehicles. The drive was being continued across the State, Mr. Babu said.

Expressing satisfaction with the DGP’s submissions, the judge said he wanted action against the orderly system since it was an “organised and structural misconduct”. The judge said almost 95% of the police officers use orderlies and the conscience of only a handful of officers does not allow them to engage trained policemen for household work.

A majority of the orderlies are happy and do not complain because they enjoy the proximity with the higher officials, but the court could not close its eyes just because there was no one to complain, the judge said. Pointing out that it was the taxpayers’ money that was being spent on those orderlies, he said they should be engaged only for police work.

The judge said he would pass final orders in the case on Tuesday with a direction to the State government to consider appointing residential assistants for doing household work at the houses of top police officers.

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Printable version | Sep 2, 2022 11:36:54 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-commends-dgp-for-obtaining-undertakings-from-officers-against-engaging-policemen-for-household-work/article65783629.ece