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The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice and sought responses from Centre and Delhi government on a suo motu initiated by it on the issue of “protection of the fundamental right of the police personnel of the country and issuance of directions/guidelines to enforce the statutory provisions”.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajender Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani on the directions of Supreme Court took cognizance of the matter and in the first instance impleaded Law Ministry through its Secretary and Chief Secretary of Delhi as respondents and sought their response within six weeks.

While disposing the plea filed by Manish Kumar on March 11, a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justiced Deepak Gupta, Sanjiv Khanna had passed direction to all concerned high courts of each state and union territories. In their order, Supreme Court had noted: “From the material on record and the Orders passed by this Court from time to time it appears that one of the central issues canvassed till date is the filling up of the large number of vacancies in the different posts in the police forces in the States. In this regard detailed affidavits have been filed by a large number of States. In view of the factual matrix at some point of time it was in the contemplation of the Court that the matter be sent to High Court(s) for effective monitoring instead of this Court continuing with the present writ petition. Issue and problems are State specific and can be appropriately dealt with by the respective High Courts.”

Supreme Court passed its direction on the plea which had sought directions to constitute Police Commission to deal with allegation of police action, redressal of grievances of police and to make recommendations for the welfare of police force.  To formulate and implement the guidelines for prevention and control of violent mass agitations and destruction of life and property. It had also sought directions to the states and Union Territories to fill up the vacant posts in the Police and State Armed forces so that the police forces does not remain overburdened. It had also sought directions to provide for periodic training and upgradation of police force and to fix the working hours for the police personnel. Also, to prescribe guidelines for the Media Reporting of the violent mass agitation and police action for prevention and control thereof.

“Having considered the matter, we are of the view that the records pertaining to each of the States including affidavits etc. be sent by the Supreme Court Registry to the Registry of the concerned High Courts with a request to Chief Justice of the High Court to entertain the matter on the Judicial Side as suo motu Public Interest Litigation and monitor the prayers made from time to time,” it ordered.

After, this Order, several high courts have already took a Suo Motu Cognizance of this matter and Delhi High Court on Friday sought to know the stand of the authorities.

The matter will be next heard on July 31, 2019.

—India Legal Bureau

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