The Madras High Court on Thursday reiterated its opinion that police personnel must be given a day off every week to unwind from their regular routine and spend quality time with their families. It also wanted the government to discourage the practice of paying extra remuneration of Rs. 200 per day to those who prefer to give up their weekly off.
Passing interim orders in a case taken up primarily for the abolishment of the orderly system in the police department, Justice N. Kirubakaran pointed out that in a communication addressed to Additional Advocate General P.H. Arvindh Pandian, the Director General of Police had claimed that a day off was already being given to all policemen every week.
Not satisfied with the reply, the judge observed that the claim appeared to be only on paper and not put in practice. He pointed out that in the same communication, the DGP had stated that in case of emergency, the policemen were not allowed to take their weekly off and instead they were paid Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 for the extra time duty.
“It is the duty of the government to ensure that every police personnel gets weekly off. In this regard, the AAG undertakes to get instructions as to whether it is possible to prohibit the police personnel from getting extra time remuneration of Rs. 200 more than once in a month,” the judge said and adjourned the case to July 19.
During the course of hearing, Justice Kirubakaran said an event conducted by the police department for honouring children who had topped the public examinations revealed that children of traffic policemen had excelled in studies, compared to those working in crime and law and order, because they were able to spend more time with their families.
Therefore, all policemen, irrespective of the branch to which they were attached, must be given an opportunity to relax and attend social functions, he said.
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