CHENNAI: The Madras High Court directed the State government to fill up 19,157 vacancies in the police department soon after election to the TN Assembly. The first Bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh issued the directive while passing orders on a PIL from social worker V Thangavelu of Trichy district on March 17 last. The PIL prayed for a directive to the government to consider his representation dated January 12 this year on filling up the vacancies in the police department. Since polls have been notified and the model code of conduct has come into force, the government cannot take any step to fill the vacancies. However, this would not prevent it from doing so immediately after the polls, the Bench said.