The Supreme Court Friday issued a notice to the Chandigarh administration over a PIL seeking implementation of eight-hour duty for every police personnel as per the recommendation of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD).
The notice was also issued to Punjab and Haryana police, which follows Punjab Police Rules (PPR).
The notice was issued by the bench of three justices including Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Indira Banerjee.
Head Constable Jagjeet Singh, through his counsel advocate Sumati Jund, had approached the apex court as his earlier PIL was dismissed in the Punjab and Haryana High court in October 2019. The petitioner had filed a special leave petition (SLP) on his PIL in the apex court.
The petitioner, Head Constable Jagjeet Singh, had given the reference of study report of BPRD, which conducted a study in two UTs, Chandigarh and Puducherry, and recommended eight-hour duty for each police personnel in its detailed report.
The petitioner argued that though BPRD recommended the implementation of the detailed study in Chandigarh police, it was not implemented till now.
The petitioner stated in the PIL that at several occasion, Chandigarh police officers replied through RTI replies that there was a shortage of manpower in the Chandigarh police department, however, no efforts were being taken to increase manpower.
The petitioner further said, “Section 22 of Police Act mandates that every police officer shall be considered to be always on duty, and may, at any time, be employed as a police officer in any part of the general police district” thus, necessitating the availability of police personnel on around the clock. Due to the prevalence of this “always on duty” dictum, the police personnel of Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana are subjected to inordinately long and irregular hours of work (often ranging between 12-16 hours) and that too without any weekly day off for rest and recuperation.”
The petitioner claimed that, “Moreover, despite the availability of sufficient staff,the respondent authorities are not only deputing the police personnel on inhumanly long duty hours but are also stopping the grant of leaves on administrative grounds.”
Advocate Sumati Jund said, “We made Punjab and Haryana police also party in the PIL because the two states also follow Punjab Police Rules. The Supreme Court on Friday admitted the PIL and issued notices to the respondents.”
The apex court also clubbed the PIL with two pending PILs in the supreme court that sought eight-hour duty for police personnel along with other police reforms nationwide.
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