Senior officers say since most of the dismissed policemen have approached courts against the decision, they cannot be forced to give up their quarters
Interestingly, while many such inspectors wait for their turn to get a house, there are several policemen who—despite being removed from service for various reasons—continue to retain possession of the quarters illegally, said sources.
Forty three house units, a majority of them in Chennai, have been occupied by dismissed officers, said sources. Recently, the Madurai bench of Madras High Court ordered the police department to recover all the illegally occupied houses and submit a report within 60 days. The department should also probe complaints illegal possession of complaints within 30 days, the court stated.
One curious case of such illegal possession is of M Senthilkumar. A Grade I constable attached to the Armed Reserve wing, Senthilkumar was part of the security guard for former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from 2011 and then then for VK Sasikala for about two months after Jayalalithaa’s death and even for TTV Dhinakaran.
He was transferred to Tiruchy in 2017 after he was found campaigning for TTV Dhinakaran in RK Nagar bypolls, but he has not surrendered the house in Gopalapuram police quarters yet. Later, he was permanently removed from the service in 2017 as he availed leave for 55 days citing medical reasons but found travelling with TTV Dhinakaran. According to sources, however, the house allotted to him remains occupied as he did not vacate it. At this, certain police officers wonder why the department remains a mute spectator to someone who occupies the police quarters and uses it for activities related to politics.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner (Headquarters) A Saravanan said that there are 17 such house units in Chennai which are occupied by former officers. “Some of the officers have approached the court against their removal from the services so, they could not be vacated. Others have started handing over the houses and the number has already come down by four at least,” he said. Since Senthilkumar’s case is also pending in the court, he could not be removed from the quarters, said the official.
“While the number of dismissed police personnel stand at 43, the figure is much higher when the officers under suspension and on transfer are taken into account,” said the source. A constable said, on condition of anonymity, that one of the reasons why officers are reluctant to return the police quarters after being transferred is that it become difficult for them to get a house once they return. “Every police officer wants to work in Chennai and does not want to take a house on rent. So, the number of personnel waiting for a house goes up and those apply for a house have to wait for months, sometimes even years, for their turn,” said the constable.