The Madras High Court on Friday rapped higher police officials in Tamil Nadu for still engaging lower level department personnel as ‘orderlies’ at their residences for doing menial jobs, as it rued at the continuance of the “colonial slavery system.”
Unless concrete steps are taken to totally wipe out this practice, the court will have no option but to opt for other course of action under the provisions of the Constitution, Justice S M Subramaniyam warned.
“We, the people of India, are celebrating 75th year of Independence. It is painful to pen down that the colonial slavery system of extracting household and menial works at the residences of the higher police officials are still prevailing in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a slap on the Constitution and the democracy of our great nation. When we are progressing towards vibrant democracy, the higher police officials in the state are following the colonial slavery system of extracting household and menial works from the trained uniformed police personnel.” “It is an issue to be considered seriously. Such uniformed trained police personnel are performing the household and menial jobs in the residences of the higher officials at the cost of the tax payers’ funds. Public has a right to question the mindset of the higher officials,” the judge observed.
The judge was passing further interim orders on a writ petition filed by U Manickavel, who sought to quash an order passed in January, 2014 under the Tamil Nadu Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Rules. Though the petitioner had filed the present petition in 2014 challenging the eviction order, he vacated the premises only recently.
Additional Advocate-General P Kumresan submitted that 19 such police personnel were relieved from the orderly duty following the earlier interim orders of the court and the state government’s memorandum on the issue.
But the judge was not satisfied. Still a large number of lower level police personnel were engaged as orderlies at the residences of higher officials. The indisciplined higher police officials lose their morale in enforcing discipline in uniformed forces, more so, against their subordinate officials, the judge said.
After impleading the DGP as a party-respondent in the case, the judge directed him to file a report by August 18 as to whether the GO issued on June 16 this year in the matter of abuse of police force in the name of Orderly at the residences of the higher officials are completely withdrawn or not, whether the illegal occupation of the government accommodation by the higher police officials have been dealt with, whether the usage of black films in the vehicles of the higher officials are completely banned or not and whether the misuse of department’s name in private vehicles is removed.
The judge noted that the DGP, in implementation of the orders of the Government, issued a memorandum to the officials. Even after a lapse of about two months, very few uniformed personnel were withdrawn from the household and menial jobs are being performed at the houses of the higher police officials, the judge said.