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[COVID-19] 'Even A Protector Needs Protection': Plea In SC Seeks 'Risk And Hardship' Allowance For Police Personnels, Also Seeks To Quash 'Salary Cut' Orders [Read Petition]

Sanya Talwar
24 April 2020 10:16 AM GMT
[COVID-19] Even A Protector Needs Protection: Plea In SC Seeks Risk And Hardship Allowance For Police Personnels, Also Seeks To Quash Salary Cut Orders [Read Petition]
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"'Even a protector needs protection and safety' and its time that Government must take effective measures and steps ensure good health and safety of the Police personnel's" Former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bhanupratap Barge has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Central Government to make provisions for payment of 'risk and hardship' allowance to...

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"'Even a protector needs protection and safety' and its time that Government must take effective measures and steps ensure good health and safety of the Police personnel's"

Former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bhanupratap Barge has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Central Government to make provisions for payment of 'risk and hardship' allowance to the police officers who are serving on the frontline amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Petitioner, through Advocate Pai Amit, has submitted that the concept of "Risk and Hardship Allowance" is not a novel one and should be put to use to aid the Police officers who are working over-time in hazardous conditions for enforcing the lockdown.

Petitioner has also sought that the circulars whereby several state governments have announced to deduct the salaries of the police personnel should be withdrawn forthwith.

The plea states that working at the frontline has made police officers and their families more vulnerable to contracting COVID 19. In fact, it submitted that there have been various reports of the police personnel who are contracting COVID 19 and several officers have even died in Madhya Pradesh.

"It is submitted that by the very nature of their work, not only are police G personnel but also their respective families are at risk of contracting COVID 19. The police personnel are also coming under tremendous stress and no steps are taken for their mental well being. The present petition is being filed to ensure that the morale of the police personnel is boosted with incentives, especially due to the current COVID 19 situation," the Petitioner submitted.

The Petitioner bats for incentives for police officers in the form of bonuses and additional salary, so as to boost their morale and enable them to support their families, especially in those areas that have been declared containment areas/ hotspots.

He submitted that the Government is obligated to protect the rights of the police personnel under Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution. "The Respondents have also a duty to, not only provide incentives to the police personnel, but also to ensure that they are incentivised for the additional duty of ensuring the proper implementation of the lockdown," he remarked.

In addition to this, the Petitioner has sought that the police personnel who are above the age of 48 years and suffer from any sort of medical conditions should be not deployed in hazardous working environment, due to their being more vulnerable to the infection.

"As per WHO guidelines older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 hence such officer above 48 years with above medical conditions be not deployed in any stressful working environment which comes in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.

It is submitted that as per the reports published in various news paper the officials who have died are above 50 years of age. The Petitioner in this regard seeks urgent interim directions to State to identify such police officials and exempt them from COVID-19 related duties and be put on any administrative work which has no or limited exertion," the Petitioner submitted.

Further, to address the serious shortage of police personnel and the fact that police personnel are also contracting COVID 19, the Petitioner has submitted that it is quintessential for the Government to recruit a few persons on ad hoc basis, to man the law and order situation.

"The present petition is being filed seeking further direction to all the State Governments to, on ad hoc basis recruit persons who are physically fit, to ensure that the police officials are not burdened," the plea states.

Inter alia, the plea has sought apposite directions to the Government to ensure adequate supply of protective gears such as masks, gloves and sanitizers for police personnel's, at priority.

Lastly, the Petitioner has sought that the circulars whereby several state governments have announced to deduct the salaries of the police personnel should be withdrawn forthwith.

"Although some State viz State of Haryana and State of Telangana have sought to encourage and appreciate the efforts of the Police personnel's by paying them double salary, at the same time other States have, infact, in a way penalised the officers by deducting E their salaries upto 25% to 35% which is detriment to the interest and moral of several officers who are on field trying to contain this deadly virus which has taken several lives across the Globe," the Petitioner submitted.

The Petition has been filed through Advocates Rajesh Inamdar, Amit Pai and Sailesh Mhaske

Picture Courtesy: The Hindu

Click Here To Download Petition

Read Petition


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