Bengaluru: The high court on Friday directed the Karnataka government to fill all vacant posts in the police department by the year-end. The court observed that a full-fledged police force is important for maintaining law and order.

A division bench headed by chief justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka gave this direction after the government informed the court that 16,838 posts were vacant as on May 31, 2019. The vacant posts include 15,336 constable posts and 1,502 sub-inspector posts. The bench has also asked the government to inform whether there has been any assessment or revision in the staff strength within a month.

The court observed that one-fourth of the sanctioned posts are yet to be filled by the government.

According to reports, government advocate D Nagaraj had earlier told the court that steps had been initiated for recruiting 346 police sub-inspectors (PSI) and 5,185 constables in 2018-19. The government aims at filling 877 PSI posts in various cadres and 8,000 constable posts by 2021-22.

The bench then adjourned the hearing on the suo motu public interest litigation registered by the court to August 27. The public interest litigation (PIL) was registered based on March 11, 2019 directives issued by the Supreme Court. In the PIL, the Supreme Court had asked respective high courts to monitor the process.