The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi Police to re- look at a circular issued by the Commissioner of Police about the working hours of station house officers (SHOs) and take a humane approach towards the matter.
The direction came on a PIL filed by advocate A K Biswas seeking withdrawal of the September 2012 circular,which asks the SHOs to be on duty 24 hours,without any leave. It also says that the SHOs are not allowed to go home without the permission of their seniors.
Have a re-look at your circular. Have some humane approach towards the officers…. How can they stay away from their family, a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath said.
The court directed the government lawyer to seek instruction from the department by the next date of hearing.
The petitioner has claimed that the circulars of August 30,1995,and September 10,2012,were not in conformity with the Delhi Police Act and Article 21 of the Constitution of India and also violated the general conscience of a human being.
In a counter affidavit filed before the court on Wednesday,police justified the direction for continuous presence of SHOs in police stations,claiming that it had been an age old practice and convention that the SHOs maintained their continuous presence and that if SHOs take off from the station frequently,it affects police response to calls of distress from member of public.
The affidavit filed by Additional DCP G S Awana also said the circulars had been issued to make area policing effective and to instil confidence in public.