NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today directed 21 states and union territories (UTs) to file affidavits within four weeks explaining the mechanism and the time-frame within which they would fill up vacancies in the police force.
A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud has so far ordered 14 states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, to fill up almost 4.3 lakh vacancies in the states' police force in a time-bound manner.
"The remaining states and UTs shall file affidavits within four weeks indicating the manner of filling up of vacancies in the police department," the bench said.
The apex court was hearing a 2013 petition filed by advocate Manish Kumar claiming that the 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 court is now monitoring the filling up of the vacancies in each state and has asked the state governments to submit their roadmaps.
Today, hill state Uttarakhand submitted its roadmap for filling up the vacancies in police, which was taken on record by the court.
Earlier, the top court had accepted the roadmap given by the Gujarat government and directed it to complete the recruitment process by August 31 next year.
It had directed the home secretaries of three states Haryana with 15,163 police vacancies, Madhya Pradesh (14,729) and Chhattisgarh (12,638) -- to submit their roadmaps.
It had also accepted the roadmap of Telangana which has 17,504 police vacancies across all ranks. The state said the process of filling up of posts was on and 9,862 vacancies will be filled up by September 1 this year.
For the remaining batch of 7642 vacant posts, the state government had informed the court that the recruitment process will end by March 31, 2019.
With regard to Rajasthan, the court had accepted its roadmap and directed that 20 per cent of the 15,701 vacancies across all ranks should be filled up this year, 30 per cent by March 31 next year and the remaining 50 per cent by March 31, 2019, failing which its home secretary would be held responsible.
Besides Gujarat and Telangana, it has so far accepted the roadmaps of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It has rejected the one submitted by Bihar government and has summoned its top officials with the revised proposal tomorrow.
It had also accepted the roadmap given by the Jharkhand government for filling up vacancies of over 10,000 constables, 3017 sub-inspectors and 72 deputy superintendents of police and directed the state authorities to strictly adhere to the time-line.
Jharkhand government had contended that the total cadre strength of its constables was 52,943 and 36,636 constables are currently working and there were 16,307 vacancies. Of these, 6,148 vacancies have been abolished and as a result the total vacancies for constables now stood at 10,159.
The apex court had earlier pulled up the Bihar government for seeking two years time to appoint 174 stenographers in the police force and had rejected its roadmap to fill up the vacancies. It had asked the Nitish Kumar government to revise its roadmap and submit a fresh one.
It had on April 24 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to fill over 1.5 lakh police vacancies in fours years, saying this will help in dealing with the law and order problem.
The court 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 in the matter.
The petitioner had claimed that there were around 5.42 lakh vacancies in the police services in the country.