Babus cry foul as Haryana govt ‘bends rules for blue-eyed boys’

The Haryana government’s recent appointments have not gone down well with many bureaucrats in the state.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: March 14, 2014 3:46:08 pm

The Haryana government’s recent appointments — such as re-employment of officers who have attained superannuation and employment of two principal secretaries for the chief minister — have not gone down well with many bureaucrats in the state. They see the appointments as a bid to accommodate ‘blue-eyed babus’ by playing with the Indian Administrative Services (Cadre) Rules.

Among the controversial appointments are the re-employment of Chhatar Singh,former PS to the chief minister; re-employment of Mohinder Kumar,former secretary to the Haryana governor; Sameer Mathur,Home Secretary. All these officers have been re-employed post their superannuation. Sources said that another IAS officer Krishna Mohan,Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue),who will retire on September 30,is also likely to get re-employment.

Many officers believe this is a violation of Section 9 (1) (a) of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules. According to the rules,a cadre post in a state shall not be filled by a person who is not a cadre officer,except if there is no suitable cadre officer available to fill the vacancy.

Chhatar Singh retired on March 31. He was re-employed for three months on a cadre post of PS to the CM at the state level. He was re-employed for another two months with effect from July 1 on contract basis with permission from the central government. He resigned from the post on August 31 and joined as member of the Union Public Services Commission on September 2. Chhatar Singh had handled cases of Change of Land Use (CLU) and colony licenses in the Chief Minister’s Office for many years.

A 1985-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer,K K Khandewal was recently appointed principal secretary to the CM even as IAS officer S S Dhillon already holds the post of PS to CM. With Khandelwal’s appointment,the CM has two principal secretaries which,according to senior bureaucrats,has never been the case in any state.

Mohinder Kumar,former secretary to the governor,retired on May 31,2013. He was re-employed on the same post for three months after superannuation. Similarly,the Haryana government re-employed Sameer Mathur,home secretary,for three months after he attained superannuation on August 31,2013.

“Three officers retired in March,May and August. Re-employing them means that the state government did not have any suitable officer to succeed them. Is it not strange that till August 31 —- the day Chhatar Singh resigned —- the government had no suitable officer to fill his place and now,all of a sudden,there are two suitable officers including S S Dhillon and K K Khandelwal?” a senior IAS officers said.

Another senior officer said,“Such practices are unheard of in any other state. It demoralises the remaining officers who are performing their duties with full diligence and honesty. Mohinder Kumar retired on May 31 and got re-employed for three months. If his successor Neelam P Kasni was not a suitable officer to replace him on May 31,how could she become suitable three months later,when she was finally appointed in his place?”

When contacted,Haryana chief secretary P K Chaudhery said,“Under the All India Service Rules,there is a provision which gives powers to the state government for re-employment of officers on cadre posts. These powers are exercised by the state government from time to time based on the need to re-employ officers to meet administrative exigencies. These powers have been used by the government in these cases strictly according to the provisions of rules.”

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