Opposing the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by the Uttar Pradesh government,civil rights group Youth For Equality (YFE) has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction that the rule empowering the state government to suspend IAS officers was constitutionally invalid.
YFE,in its application to intervene in a pending PIL that seeks to insulate the countrys civil servants from political victimisation and patronage,has contended that Rule 3 of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules was arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution.
The application reasoned that since IAS officers belong to the All India Services and are merely deputed to the state governments for assistance by way of allotted cadres,the central government could not vest indiscriminate powers with the state governments to suspend such officers.
Challenging the validity of Rule 3,YFE has requested the court to declare,in the interim,that the state governments shall not have the power to suspend or take any disciplinary action against the IAS officers.
The application,filed through advocate Gopal Sankarnarayan,also pleaded for staying Nagpals suspension,stating she has been victimised by the UP government for merely having carried out her duties.
The powers of suspension which can be utilized by political leaders without any regulation have allowed the officers of the central services to become pawns to the political ends of the government in power, said the plea,pointing to Nagpals crackdown on the sand mining mafia in Noida.
It underlined that out of 200 officers suspended across the country in the last 20 years,UP alone suspended 105.
Only 1 of these 105 officers was dismissed,showing that the power of the state machinery is used for wrong and malafide reasons by the government, said the application.
The present issue of Mrs Nagpal is emblematic of a rot within the system and that must be stemmed immediately, said the application,demanding court intervention in the interest of the officers of the All India Services,who are to discharge their duties without fear or favour.
The application is likely to come up before a bench led by Justice K S Radhakrishnan on Monday. Another PIL seeking immediate reinstatement of Nagpal is also expected to come up for hearing on Monday before a bench headed by CJI P Sathasivam.