The High Court of Karnataka on Friday directed the State government to file an affidavit within four weeks providing details about the sanctioned strength of the police force, number of vacancies in various posts, and road map for filling up these posts. They also directed the government to indicate the strength of the police force required for the State.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar passed the interim order on a PIL petition, initiated suo motu by the High Court based on a March 11, 2019, direction of the Supreme Court for monitoring actions initiated by the respective States on vacancy-related issues in police forces.
The Supreme Court had issued the direction while hearing the PIL petition filed in 2013 by Manish Kumar, who had complained that the law and order situation had deteriorated owing to a large number of vacancies in the police service at all levels in the States.
The data submitted before the Supreme Court had revealed that Karnataka is in the fifth position among the six States having the largest number of vacancies, 24,399 posts as on March-April 2017 as noted in the apex court’s order on April 17, 2017.
Later, various State governments submitted roadmaps for filling up of vacancies, and the Karnataka government filed an affidavit stating that around 13,000 vacancies would be filled through direct recruitment process at different stages during 2017-2019 by submitting the break up of the target of filling up around 4,400 vacant posts every year during 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Following this, the apex court in its April 24, 2017, order had made it clear that the Principal Secretary, Home Department, Government of Karnataka, and the Additional Director-General of Police (Recruitment), would be responsible for filling up all the vacancies.