The Madras High Court last week recommended that the extra Rs. 200 paid to police officers who work during their day offs be restricted to just once every month, so that policemen get to relax and spend time with their families.
Justice N. Kirubakaran observed, “If extra time remuneration of Rs.200/- per day is paid, definitely the police personnel will be sacrificing their weekly off and therefore, there should be some rule prohibiting the payment of extra time remuneration of Rs.200/- more than once in a month. 
Unless such prohibition is made, the police personnel will tend to attend the work without availing their weekly off and fail to spend time with their family. It is the duty of the Government to ensure that every police personnel gets their weekly off.”
The Court is hearing a petition filed by a policeman, P. Subbu, who had originally demanded an inquiry into his wife’s alleged affair with a colleague. He had alleged that despite repeated complaints, no action/enquiry was taken by the Commissioner of Police as well as the Inspector of Police.
The Court had then expanded the scope of the petition, noting that no action had been taken so far to address the grievances of the Police, even though it had, in G. Anandan & Ors. v. State of Tamil Nadusuggested the appointment of a Commission headed by a retired High Court Judge to “analyse and identify the reasons for the problems of the police force including desertion in the Force and to give appropriate recommendations to the State government”. 
Lamenting the inaction, the Court had then observed, “As already observed by this Court, many Police personnel are committing suicide. Even day before yesterday, it was published in the media that one Sub-Inspector committed suicide by hanging in Kasimedu. 
If some urgent measures are not taken to stop the grievance of the police force, casualties cannot be avoided and further the morale of the Police will be affected. Therefore, urgent steps had to be taken by the Government to keep up the morale of the Police force by taking suitable remedial action and it is the need of the hour.”
In another order passed earlier this month, the Court had emphasised on the necessity of holidays for police officers, blaming their hectic schedules for “deviant activities of the police officers”. 
It had observed, “The police is forced to work round the clock, sometimes without any holiday causing stress and mental agony not only to the policemen, but also their family members. This is one of the reasons for deviant activities of the police officers. Conducive atmosphere should be created for the working of policemen so that the morale is kept high in the interest of the society. 
If the police is forced to work round the clock without any break, physically and psychologically they will be ruined and they would not be in a position to discharge their public functions properly. Therefore, it is a necessity for the policemen to have at least one day holiday, which will be helpful to the policemen and also to their family members.”
Thereafter, during the hearing last week, the Additional Advocate General sought time to receive instructions on the issue of restricting extra time pay as well as the constituting a committee as recommended in G. Anandan’s case. The matter has now been posted on 19 July.