The Supreme Court today sought the personal appearance of home secretaries or authorised joint secretaries of six states, including Uttar Pradesh, next week to provide a definite roadmap to fill up the long-pending vacancies in the states' police forces.
The apex court expressed dismay over the huge backlog in the vacancies in police departments of the states, which also include Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, and said, "we have been persuading you (states) to fill the vacancies since 2013, but you are not doing anything".
A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul then referred to details and said Uttar Pradesh has 1.51 lakh vacancies, West Bengal has 37,325, Karnataka has 24,899, Jharkhand 26,303, Bihar 34,500 and Tamil Nadu has 19,803 posts vacant.
Initially the bench asked the counsel, representing these states, about the steps taken so far to fill up the vacancies.
On being dissatisfied with the responses, the bench decided to summon the home secretaries or an officer not below the rank of joint secretary, authorised by the home secretaries, to personally appear on April 21 and assist it in dealing the issue of filling up of vacancies.
"Why this is happening," the bench asked the counsel for UP and then came down heavily on Tamil Nadu which informed it that advertisements have been put out for the vacancies.
"Giving advertisements is the first step. You (Tamil Nadu) have taken the first step since 2013," the bench said adding, "We endeavour to monitor the filling up of vacancies."
The bench, perusing details of vacancies, said, "we therefore, hereby, direct the home secretaries of six states to assist this court personally or nominate an officer, not below the rank of joint secretary, and provide a definite roadmap for filling up of vacancies."
The apex court fixed the plea filed by Manish Kumar for monitoring by it on April 21.
Earlier, the court had directed home secretaries of all the states to file affidavits giving details of vacancies in police services at all levels.
It had said that if any of the states do not file the affidavit, it would "ensure the presence of home secretaries along with necessary records to assist the court in disposal of the matter.
The apex court was hearing the 2013 petition which claimed that law and order situation in the country was deteriorating due to a large number of vacancies in police services at all levels across all states.
The petitioner had claimed before the bench that there were around 5.42 lakh vacancies in the police services across the country.
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