Even as one bench of the Delhi High Court is for increasing the manpower of Delhi Police to segregate crime detection from law and order, another bench today said the force is “overstaffed”.
“You are overstaffed. Each gypsy has three to four officers. They all drive personal vehicles, so why do they need a driver. A driver alone is sufficient to do everything.
“Backup can be called if required. When you go past any gypsy, you will see what is going on inside,” the high court said after Delhi Police maintained it needs more manpower before designating an officer specifically for child welfare.
The observations by a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Jayant Mehta came while hearing a plea regarding missing children and in which the Centre today filed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) formulated by it to be followed in each such case.
While taking on record the SOPs, filed through central government standing counsel Anil Soni, the court remarked that “while we are spending money, time and effort, we are not getting the desire results” as missing children are traced only in “rare” instances.
It said the country was not lacking in the systems and laws, “we are lacking in implementation. Implementation is a big problem”.
The bench said there should be a regular monitoring — daily checks every six hours — of the ZIPNet where photographs of missing children is uploaded and also asked the Centre and Delhi Police to come with a proposal on putting in place a facial recognition software.
Delhi Police, represented by senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, said the induction of the software is awaiting approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The court, thereafter, asked Delhi Police to file a status report giving details regarding the functioning of the facial recognition software and the reasons why it has not been put to use. The matter was then listed for further hearing on March 6.
The court was also of the view that by pruning the PCR vehicle staff, one officer can been be made available for child welfare and asked Delhi Police to try and start this district-wise initially before putting one such officer in each police station.
During the hearing, the usual functioning of the police, including that of its traffic officers, drew disapproval of the bench which said most of them are either just standing around or “gossiping” in groups or talking on mobiles.
It said there is “something drastically wrong” with the officers as “you don’t see them energetic even in the mornings” and added that if traffic police officers are just going to stand around, “then there is no difference between him and a chowkidar”.
The court felt that disciplinary action should be taken against those traffic police officers who are on the mobile during duty hours and noted that their call records ought to be examined to see who they were talking to.