CHENNAI: The practice of having ‘orderlies’ will demoralise the police force and using personnel belonging to a uniformed service for domestic work of officials is illegal and amounts to misconduct, the Madras high court said on Tuesday.
“What for they (police personnel) are trained? To do domestic work!?” wondered Justice S M Subramaniam, instructing the Tamil Nadu government to ensure all such ‘orderlies’ are immediately removed from the residences of officials, including the retired ones.
The court pointed out that despite receiving monthly allowance to appoint domestic help, they were misusing the force.
“Like IAS officers and judiciary, the state can provide residential assistants for IPS officers too and that would be the proper way to address the issue. A person from the uniformed force cannot be forced to do such jobs,” the judge said.
Also, reprimanding top officials for using their official vehicles for personal use, Justice Subramaniam said: “An official vehicle can be used only for official purposes, not otherwise. Law permits only persons occupying constitutional posts like the chief minister to use official vehicles for personal use also.”
As to the nexus between the police officials and politicians, Justice Subramaniam said: “Already the force has lost trust among the public. Their nexus with politicians will only lead to an increase in the crime rate. They must act independently.”
“Why should an officer give a bouquet to a politician and meet him? What is the need to please them? To get good postings?” the judge wondered. “Nexus between the police officials and politicians is the worst form of corruption than receiving bribes,” he said.
Concurring with the court, additional advocate-general of Tamil Nadu P Kumaresan informed the court that the home secretary had already instructed the DGP to address the issues of usage of sun control films in police officials’ vehicles, misuse of department name in private vehicles and abuse of police force in the name of orderly in their residences or otherwise and file a report in four weeks. “The chief minister has convened a meeting with top police officials and has instructed them to address the issues,” Kumaresan said.
Appreciating the government for the swift actions, the court adjourned the plea to July 25 to file a further report.
The observations were made on a plea moved by a retired police officer who was occupying the official residence provided to him even after several years of retirement.
After the court’s reprimand, the house has been vacated and the state has issued a demand notice to the retired officer demanding payment of ₹90 lakh as rental arrears for occupying the residence.