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A retired IPS Officer has filed a PIL before the Supreme Court seeking directions for the payment of "risk and hardship" allowance for police personnel serving on the frontlines amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The recent news of a policeman's death due to COVID-19 in Madhya Pradesh appears to have prompted the filing of this PIL. The petitioner states that the tragic incident makes it clear that "even a protector needs protection and safety".
The petitioner has also sought a direction to the authorities to identify personnel above 48 years of age having existing medical conditions that may make them more vulnerable to the Coronavirus. Such persons should not be deployed on duty where they may come in direct or indirect contact with COVID-19 patients, the petitioner has also prayed.
It is further prayed that the salaries of police personnel not be deducted, and that any order or circular that allows for such deduction be withdrawn. It is highlighted that while some states have paid double salary to police personnel as incentive, there are certain states that had slashed the salaries by 25 to 35%. This would affect the morale of the police personnel who are already enduring high risk in such times, it is averred.
It is also submitted that to relieve the police from the burden, some ad hoc appointments of persons who are physically fit may also be made, and that all police personnel and their families be provided with basic protective gear.
The petition is drawn by Advocates Rajesh Inamdar, Pai Amit, and Sailesh Mhaske and settled by Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat.