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'Personnel Trained To Shoot Guns Made to Make Dosas For Higher Officials, Shameful Colonial Practice' : Madras HC On Orderlies System

Upasana Sajeev
12 Aug 2022 1:17 PM GMT
Assessment Of Suitability And Eligibility Are Prerogative Of Competent Authorities, Cannot Be Interfered By The High Court: Madras High Court
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The Madras High Court on Friday expressed deep dissatisfaction that even after 75 years of Independence, the State could not effectively eradicate the colonial practice of engaging uniformed officers as orderlies in the residence of higher officials.

"We're approaching 75 years of Independence and yet you can't do away with this colonial system. Personnel who have been trained to shoot guns are made to make chappathis and dosas for higher officials. It's really shameful' the court observed.

Justice SM Subramaniam made the observation in a matter relating to overstay of officials in government quarters, in violation of rules.

The court had previously directed the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department to take immediate steps to remove uniformed officers serving as orderlies at the residence of higher officials and to use these forces for the benefit of the public at large.

When the matter was taken up today, the Additional Advocate General Kumaresan informed the court that around 19 police personnel were called back and put on regular department post. The court expressed displeasure over this as even after giving six weeks, only 19 orderlies were called back

"It's all in the mindset. When you become dependent, you become more dependent. We are all public servants. We are entitled to all the benefits under the rule. But once dome away with, we shouldn't claim that."

The court further remarked that the Principal Secretary should have better control over the system and ensure enactment of the order. Otherwise, public services itself would get affected. The court gave examples of how many police stations and government offices were understaffed. For better functioning of these offices it was necessary to appoint these personnel.

The court remarked that in this country every public servant was bound to serve the public in accordance with the law laid down in the Constitution and by the statutes.

"Indian constitution and its spirit, philosophy and ethos declares that every citizen of our great nation is a Queen or King. No public servant can imagine or live in a world of mughal emperors and all such authorities under the constitution are public servants and are bound to serve the public in accordance with rules laid down in the constitution and as per the Statutes and Rules enacted by the Parliament and the State Legislature."

The court also warned that if the orders are not properly enacted, it'll have to pass orders impleading the Government of India and Ministry of Home affairs and ask them to initiate action against these officials through central agencies.

The court suo moto impleaded the Director General of Police and directed him to file a status report/affidavit by the 18th of this month. The court further observed that the DGP should aim to eradicate the system before Independence day.

Case Title: U. Manickavel v. State rep. by Secretary and others

Case No: WP No. 2627 of 2014


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