Government to Fill 12,000 Police Vacancies After HC’s Notice: 29,000 Positions Vacant in Home Department

Many states in the country suffer losses to life and property during storms. When such incidents occur, the role and numbers of the police come into question, leading to a suo moto petition filed in the High Court. Chief Justice Sunita Agrawal and Justice Aniruddha Mayani presided over the bench hearing, where it was revealed that there are 29,000 vacancies in Gujarat’s home department, with 28,000 vacancies in the police department alone. The government has filed an affidavit in court promising to fill less than half of these vacancies, about 12,000 positions. The court questioned the government about the lack of laws similar to other states to address property damage during such incidents, prompting Court Mediator Hemang Shah to suggest looking into such laws. Further hearings on this matter are scheduled after three weeks.

Technical and State IB Vacancies: 1000 Positions Empty

The court noted that there are 970 vacancies in technical and state IB departments in Gujarat. Additionally, there are 4,500 vacancies in the State Reserve Police Force and a total of 23,516 vacancies in the police force. The court sought details on recruitment numbers and stages, which the government failed to provide in the affidavit, leading the court to order a progress report submission. Unlike other states, Gujarat lacks laws to address damage to public and private property during disasters, prompting Court Mediator Hemang Shah to suggest exploring such legislation. Further hearings on this matter will take place after three weeks.

4,000 Vacancies in State Reserve Police Force

During previous hearings, the state government admitted in an affidavit filed in April that 21.3% of positions in the state police department are vacant, amounting to around 27,000 vacancies. Furthermore, there are 4,000 vacancies in the State Reserve Police Force. The state government had provided details to the court regarding the recruitment of 7,000 police personnel in the year 2023-24. Additionally, directions were issued in the state for rallies, processions, and gatherings, with the court instructing the government to publish directions for rallies, gatherings, and processions in newspapers and media.

This Petition is in Line with Supreme Court’s 2019 Directives

This petition aligns with the Supreme Court’s 2019 directives, which include establishing a police re-dressal form, filling vacancies in the police force, providing training to the police, recruitment based on residence criteria, fixing police duty hours, preventing damage to public and private properties during disasters, conducting photography and videography of disasters, implementing directives issued by the Supreme Court, and making police permission mandatory for gatherings, among other matters.

Niyati Rao

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