Justice N Kirubakaran made the observation when advocate Purushothaman moved a petition dealing with the pathetic service conditions of police personnel in the state.
"Do you know what will be the fate of Tamil Nadu if all policemen go on strike for just an hour? Working round the clock for 24 hours, 365 days a year, police personnel need adequate rest," he told the government advocate.
"It is due to work pressure and depression that they either quit the force or commit suicide," the judge said.
"Policemen are unnecessarily made to guard empty bungalows, samadhis and memorials," the judge said.
"When ministers and top officers move around in their cars, these personnel are made to stand on roads for hours together," he said.
Stressing on the need to make efforts to understand the service conditions and stress levels of police personnel, the judge said policemen were unable to attend even family functions and festivals.
He referred to reports about more than 19,000 posts lying vacant in the police department and sought to ascertain from the government whether it was correct.
Justice Kirubakaran referred to a 2012 court order which directed the government to form a police commission. He asked why it had not been formed despite a lapse of six years.
He gave the government time tillMarch 19to inform the court about the status of the commission. Delay in forming a commission too had been taking a toll on police personnel, the judge said.
SI Sathish Kumar had allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at the Ayanavaram Police Station yesterday.
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