A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed at Bombay High Court by a group of lawyers, seeking special hardship and risk allowance to state police personnel. The PIL also challenges a state government resolution (GR) issued on April 1 that proposed 50 per cent salary of Class I and II state government officials to be paid in deferred mode, while 25 per cent salary of Class III government personnel will be deferred.
The PIL said that salaries of police officers on COVID-19 duty should not be deferred, and that they should be given special risk and hardship allowance, which has been implemented in several countries.
The PIL, filed by advocates Tosif Shaikh, Kranti Sahane, Swapnil Girme, Satish Gaikwad, Kedar Milwala, Ganesh Gupta, Brajesh Kumar and Suraj Jadhav, also sought directions to the state government to provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits, gloves, masks and sanitisers to frontline officers.
The plea stated that deferred payment to police officials will affect them adversely, and sought that the GR passed on April 1 be set aside as arbitrary.
“Police officers are overworked, as some of them work for more than 14 hours a day, and suffer from tremendous stress,” the PIL stated. “The state government and concerned authorities need to make provisions for payment of ‘Hardship and Risk Allowance’ to police personnel, incentives in form of bonus, and additional salary.”
Referring to news reports, the plea said at least 23 police personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 22 in Maharashtra, and that 15 of them are from Mumbai. Additionally, 97 police personnel have been attacked by anti-social elements while enforcing the lockdown, the PIL added.
The PIL is likely to be mentioned before the court on Thursday, April 23
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