Madras High Court: S M Subramaniam, J. observing that it is painful to pen down that the colonial slavery system of extracting household and menial works in the residences of the higher Police officials are still prevailing in the State of Tamil Nadu and is a slap on the Constitution and the Democracy of our great Nation directed that this the slavery system of engaging uniformed Police personnel in the residences of the higher officials must be abolished forthwith.
The writ petition was filed under Article 226, Constitution of India, praying for the issuance of a writ of Certiorari, calling for the records relating to Form-C dated 07-01-2014 issued under Rule 8, Tamil Nadu Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Rules, 1978 by the Respondent 3 herein.
Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu issued a memorandum dated 05-08-2022, instructing the Police officials to strictly follow the Government Orders and the interim orders passed by the High Court against the usage of Police personnel for household work consequent to which it was informed to the Court that 19 Police personnel were withdrawn and put on regular departmental duties.
The Court noted that it is aware that large number of uniformed Police personnel are still performing household and menial works in the residences of the higher Police officials and the instructions issued by the Government dated 16-06-2022, have not been followed scrupulously by the Police department.
The Court further noted that mere communication and inter-departmental communications are insufficient, and implementation of the Government orders is of paramount importance. Once the Government has issued an order, it is needless to state that the Police department has to follow it scrupulously, failing which, they are liable to be prosecuted under the Service Rules.
The Court observed that such uniformed trained Police personnel are performing the household and menial jobs in the residences of the higher officials at the cost of the taxpayers’ funds. The public has a right to question the mindset of the higher officials.
The court remarked the Government of Tamil Nadu, pursuant to the Nationwide decision taken in the Hon’ble Chief Minister’s conference, abolished the Orderly System on 05-09-1979 in G.O. (Ms.) No.2231 and unfortunately, even after abolition, the practice is in force, despite the fact that the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department, issued a clear mandate, through his letter dated 16-06-2022, pursuant to the directions of this Court. When the Government Orders are not followed scrupulously in their letter and spirit, an inference is to be drawn that higher Police officials are not functioning under the effective administrative control of the Government.
Pursuant to the memorandum passed by DGP, Tamil Nadu and lapse of about two months, very few uniformed personnel were withdrawn from the household and menial jobs being performed in the residences of the higher Police officials.
The Court opined that the slavery system of engaging uniformed Police personnel in the residences of the higher officials must be abolished forthwith, failing which, this Court will have no option, but to opt for other course of action under the provisions of the Constitution of India.
The Court thus suo motu impleaded Director General of Police, Mylapore, Chennai as a respondent and asked to file an affidavit regarding the complete implementation of the orders of this Court and the order passed by the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department.
The Court further directs Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu to file a status report/affidavit before the Court on or before 18-08-2022.
[U Manickavel v. State, WP No. 2627 of 2014, decided on 12-08-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. M. Deivanandam, Advocate, for the Petitioner;
Mr. P. Kumaresan Additional Advocate General Assisted by Mrs. S. Anitha Special Government Pleader, Advocates, for the Respondents.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.