The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to explain whether it would be possible to let policemen avail weekly offs as it was being done in the case of other government servants. Justice N. Kirubakaran called for an explanation after impressing upon the Government to deliberate the issue.
During the course of the hearing related to the alleged practice of engaging policemen in the lower cadre to perform domestic work in their senior officers’ residences, the judge said “the police force was essential for an orderly society though it was a totally different matter as to whether they were maintaining order or not.”
Expressing concern over recent attacks on policemen by gangsters, the Justice said that it was not a good sign. He said the morale of the police force must always be high and therefore, the State must think about enacting tougher laws against organised crimes on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act of 1999.
He said that it was a matter of grave concern to see policemen work round the clock.
Lack of rest and inability to spend time with their families was the prime reason for the deviant behaviour of most policemen, the judge said and insisted on offering weekly offs to them too.
Additional Advocate General P.H. Arvindh Pandian said the policemen were in fact taking breaks through internal adjustments among themselves.
He said that it was not only the policemen, but also judges, lawyers, law officers, government officials and journalists who work on most days.
He pointed out that many government officials visited law officers till late in the evening to instruct them regarding various cases. Similarly, many IAS officers left their offices by 10 pm, he said. He added the court staff were no exception as they worked late to deliver order copies.
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