New Delhi: Policemen cannot take the defence that they consume liquor due to stressful nature of their jobs, the Delhi High Court has observed.
The court`s observation came while deciding the plea of a constable who was sacked in 2006 following ex-parte disciplinary proceedings for his unauthorised absence from duty owing to some psychiatric problems.
"Not by any standards to be understood to mean that alcoholism is accepted by us as a defence for the stressful work which constables of Delhi Police perform...," a bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Veena Birbal said.
The court, however, made it clear that the employer cannot withhold the "compensate allowance" due to a sacked policeman under the CCS Pension Rules as the pension is "treated as something earned and not a bounty".
Manoj Kumar, who had joined Delhi police as a constable on December 07, 1995, had moved the court seeking a direction for grant of pension and other service benefits and tried to justify his "unauthorised" absence saying that he suffered some psychiatric problems and received treatment at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Science (IHBAS) here.
Police had claimed that Manoj "wilfully" remained absent from a period of 40 days during 2002 and 2003. However, an uncle of the errant cop had informed the department that he was mentally ill and remained hospitalised.
Considering the medical records, the court disposed of the plea and asked the police department to sanction "2/3rd of the compensation pension" to the sacked constable within 12 weeks.
"Compliance be made with this order by calculating the past dues payable as compassionate allowance and paid to the petitioner within 12 weeks from today. Thereafter, monthly compassionate allowance will be paid," the court said.
It also said the former cop would be entitled to monthly pension.