A day before the Supreme Court’s three-month deadline to the Centre and states to set up a civil services board (CSB) to manage transfers, postings, inquiries, promotions, rewards, punishment and disciplinary matters ran out, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has implemented the order, albeit with riders.
As per the order issued by director (Services), Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers will now spend “at least two years” in every post. Any deviation from this norm will be allowed only on the “recommendation” of the CSB. The “competent authority” can, however, reject the CSB’s recommendation after recording the reasons.
The new rules come in the wake of the outcry over the allegedly motivated transfers of Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka and the suspension and subsequent transfer of Gautam Budh Nagar SDM Durga Shakti Nagpal. The rules are meant to check political interference in the functioning of the bureacuracy.
All states must now constitute a CSB headed by the chief secretary to manage the transfers of civil services officers. For transfers and posting of IAS officers, the board will have the seniormost additional chief secretary, or chairman, Board of Revenue, or financial commissioner, or an officer of equivalent rank and status as member, and principal secretary or secretary of the Department of Personnel in the state government, as member secretary.
For posting and transfers of IPS officers, the board will have two more members — principal secretary or secretary, Home, and the director general of police. In case of Forest Service officers, the board will have the principal secretary or secretary, Forest, and the state’s principal chief conservator of forests as members.
“A cadre officer, appointed to any cadre post, shall hold the office for at least two years unless he or she is promoted, retired or sent on deputation outside the state or for training exceeding two months,” the new rules say, adding that a cadre officer can be transferred before the minimum specified period only on recommendation of the civil services board.
On October 31, the Supreme Court, while deciding a PIL filed by 83 retired bureaucrats, had directed the Centre to ensure fixed tenures for bureaucrats, and frame rules for it within three months. The deadline would have run out on Friday.
In November 2012, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission headed by M Veerappa Moily too had recommended fixed tenures for officers holding cadre posts. “Unfortunately, frequent transfers of civil servants continue to be one of the most vexatious governance problems still facing India,,” the 10th report of the ARC had said.