Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar has ordered all Station House Officers (SHOs) to stay put at police stations during night.
In a circular issued on September 10, Kumar made it mandatory for SHOs to take prior permission from superiors if they want to leave their police station for a night.
Such permission can be taken only once a week or on more occasions if there is a special circumstance.
The circular has spread resentment among SHOs, who are criticising the directions in hush tones and terming it a violation of human as well as fundamental rights.
The police commissioner in the circular stated that the presence of three inspectors in every police station was resulting in a sense of 'disused responsibility'.
"Some of the SHOs seem to have 'absolved' themselves of most responsibilities by distributing work among between the inspector (investigation) and anti-terrorist officer," the circular says.
"The SHOs must understand that their mere presence keep other ranks on their toes. They can respond to emergencies at night, check night patrolling and assist other SHOs should a situation arise," the circular said.
The circular said it has been noticed that there is hardly any staff available in the police station at night.