If the system of employing uniformed police officers as slaves in the homes of higher officials is not immediately eliminated, this Court will be forced to choose another course of action in accordance with the principles of the Indian Constitution is upheld by the Madras High Court through Justice S M Subramaniam in the case of U Manickavel v. State (WP No. 2627 of 2014).
FACTS OF THE CASE
In the instant case, a petition for a writ of certiorari was filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution by Respondent, asking for the records pertaining to Form-C dated 07-01-2014 issued under Rule 8 of the Tamil Nadu Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Rules, 1978.
It was reported to the Court that 19 Police personnel were withdrawn and put on regular departmental duties as a result of the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, issuing a memorandum dated 05-08-2022 instructing the Police officials to strictly follow the Government Orders and the interim orders passed by the High Court against the usage of Police personnel for household work.
The Court stated that it is aware that many uniformed police officers continue to carry out household chores and other menial tasks in the homes of higher-ranking police officers and that the Police department has not strictly complied with the Government’s directives of 16-06-2022.
The Court further stated that following through on government directives is crucial and that merely communicating and exchanging information among departments is insufficient. It goes without saying that the Police Department must adhere strictly to any orders issued by the Government because failing to do so could result in disciplinary action under the Service Rules.
The Court noted that such uniformed, trained police officers were using taxpayer money to pay for housekeeping and manual labour in the mansions of higher officials. The general public has a right to inquire about the higher officials’ perspectives. The court noted that even though the Orderly System was abolished by the Government of Tamil Nadu on September 5, 1979, through G.O. (Ms.) No. 2231, and despite the fact that the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department, issued a clear directive through his letter dated June 16, 2022, in accordance with the directions of this Court, the practise is still in place. Higher Police officials should be assumed to not be operating under the effective administrative supervision of the Government if Government Orders are not adhered to strictly in both letter and spirit.
The Court stated that if the system of employing uniformed police officers as slaves in the homes of higher officials is not immediately eliminated, this Court will be forced to choose another course of action in accordance with the principles of the Indian Constitution.
The Director General of Police, Mylapore, Chennai, was hence suo moto impeached as a respondent and ordered to provide an affidavit on the full compliance of the court’s directives as well as the order made by the Principal Secretary to Government. The Court further ordered the Director General of Police for Tamil Nadu to submit an affidavit or status report to the Court by August 18, 2022, at the latest.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL