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HC declines to ask Delhi Police to withdraw circular for SHOs

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 15:41

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today declined to direct the city police to withdraw its circular on working conditions of station house officers (SHOs), which has been alleged as inhuman in a PIL, saying the court can`t interfere into the department`s administrative order.

Dismissing the PIL highlighting 24 hours long working time of SHOs here without any leave, a bench headed by Chief Justice N Venkat Ramana said, "How many hours they (personnel) have to work is the duty of the department to look after. We cannot interfere into their administrative decision."

The court, however, said, "If the police officers are affected, they can approach the government."

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by advocate A K Biswas seeking withdrawal of a police circular for SHOs, according to which they are not allowed to go home and they have to work 24 hours without any leave.

According to the PIL, the circular stated that if the SHOs do have to go home for some reason, they can go to their residence once a week at night but only if their seniors permit it.

The court accepted the affidavit filed by police earlier explaining the nature of job of the SHOs.

"The job of the police officer is of urgent and emergent nature and directly relates to public service, so the police be allowed to continue with this practice for better public service," the affidavit said.

"This circular was issued to make the area policing effective, to instill confidence among citizens at large and make them feel responsible for whatever happened in their jurisdiction," the reply filed by G S Awana, additional deputy commissioner of police on behalf of the police commissioner, said.

The affidavit further said, "SHO is supposed to be responsible for all actions of his/her subordinates in his police station. In case a SHO goes home every day, his control over continuously emerging issues in the area would get weakened."

"Their absence may lead to dilution in handling of the cases and may also lead to situation going out of hand," police had said.

First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 15:41

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