“You are making fun of this court,” an anguished Supreme Court told the Bihar government today, pulling it up for seeking two years time to appoint 174 stenographers in the police and rejecting its roadmap to fill up the vacancies in the force. The apex court, which is monitoring the filling up of police vacancies in all states, asked the Nitish Kumar government to revise its roadmap and submit a fresh one.
“This proposal is completely unacceptable. You want time till 2019 to fill up the posts of 174 stenographers. This is not done. You are making fun of this court. You can hold one single test for stenographers and recruit them,” a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said. The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said it was angry with the way the roadmap was presented to it and asked the Bihar government to file a fresh proposal for filling up of vacancies in police by Friday.
“You should now file a fresh affidavit explaining a reasonable roadmap. If you do not revise it, then you will be in serious trouble. Revise and come on Friday or we are going to send someone who prepared this roadmap to jail,” the bench said. With regard to West Bengal, the bench accepted the roadmap given by the state and asked it to fill up the 25,487 vacancies of constable by 2020.
The West Bengal government informed the court that the process for filling up police vacancies was on and by July 31, a total of 4357 posts would be filled up. The apex court directed the state government to fill up 8000 posts of constables every year from 2018 till 2020 and “meticulously adhere” to the time-line.
In case any vacancies remains, then it should be filled up by 2021, it said, adding that for any breach of the time schedule, the concerned DGP (Recruitment) and Additional Secretary (Home) would be personally responsible.
The state government said that out of 1173 vacancies of junior constables, 465 have been filled up as on date and by 2020, all the remaining vacancies will also be filled up.
It told the bench that till date, it has 253 vacancies for the post of Sub Inspectors and this number would rise to 3175 by 2018. The apex court directed that the state government should fill up 700 posts this year and from 2018 till 2020, it should fill up 800 annually.
The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue tomorrow. The apex court had on April 24 directed Uttar Pradesh government to fill over 1.5 lakh police vacancies in the state in fours years, saying filling up of the posts will help in dealing with the law and order problem.
It had also directed the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to fill up about 45,000 such vacancies in a time- bound manner, while expressing dissatisfaction with the responses of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand in the matter.
The apex court had directed the UP government to start filling up the currently 1,01,619 vacant posts in the police and asked the state government to start recruiting 30,000 constables every year from August 17 till August 2020, apart from filling up of 11,376 posts of Sub-Inspector. It had directed that 3,200 posts of Sub-Inspector should be filled annually from January 2018 till January 2021, apart from filling up the promotional posts every year.
The apex court had also accepted the roadmaps of filling up of police vacancies in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and asked them to complete the process of recruitment in a time-bound manner. The bench has accepted the roadmap given by the three states to fill up the vacancies and sought similar fresh road maps from Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
It also asked the Home Secretaries of Gujarat, Telangana and Rajasthan to be personally present on May 1 and suggest the roadmap to fill up over 50,000 police vacancies. The bench was not satisified with the responses of West Bengal, Bihar governments whose Home Secretaries were summoned by the apex court on April 17 and had asked them to furnish detailed roadmaps for filling up of the long pending vacancies by May 1.
It had said that 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. Earlier, the court had directed the Home Secretaries of all the states to file affidavits giving details of vacancies in police services at all levels.
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.