Press Trust of india

SC refuses to entertain plea against salary cut of policemen by some states during Covid-19

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to entertain a plea seeking direction for withdrawal of orders by some states which proposed salary cut of police personnel during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying these are “policy matters” and it is for the government to consider the issue.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing, through video-conferencing, a plea which also sought personal protection equipment (PPE) for all police personnel and their families on the ground that cops are serving on the frontline making them vulnerable to Covid-19 or coronavirus.

While observing that it would not entertain the plea, the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and B R Gavai, allowed the petitioner to give a representation on the issue to the appropriate authority.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Bhanupratap Barge who had sought directions to the Centre and states to make provisions for payment of ‘risk and hardship’ allowance, incentives in the form of bonus and additional salary to police officers who are presently serving on the frontline during the lock down situation.

The counsel appearing for petitioner told the bench that they are not raising the issue of risk and allowance but the salary of police officers are being deducted in some states.

The counsel argued that aged police officers are being asked to report on duty but they should not be deployed on any duty which comes in direct  contact with Covid-19 infected patients.

The plea had referred to the death of police personnel due to the virus at some places and said it indicates that “even a protector needs protection and safety” and the government must take effective measures and steps to ensure good health and safety of cops across the country.

It had also sought a directions to the authorities to identify policemen above 48 years of age and those having existing medical conditions like diabetes and not to deploy them on duty where they may come in direct or indirect contact with COVID-19 infected patients.

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