In a notification that may stoke a controversy, the Centre has said that government officials punished with demotion and reduction in pay for alleged irregularities or dereliction in duties can regain their position after expiry of such punishment period.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has issued a gazette notification on Fundamental (Amendment) Rules, 2013 in which all authorities have been asked to define period of punishment — reduction to a lower service, grade or post or to a lower scale — for which these provisions shall be effective.

The rules mandate such authority to specify “whether, on restoration, the period of reduction shall operate to postpone future increments and, if so, to what extent”, according to the gazette notification dated October 27, 2013.

“The government servant shall regain his original seniority in the higher service, grade or post on his restoration to the service, grade or post from which he was reduced,” it said.

Departmental disciplinary authorities, law and enforcement agencies, anti-corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Central Information Commission (CIC) recommends action against delinquent government employees.

The punishment by a disciplinary authority to a government official through major and minor penalties may include reduction in service, grade, pay and even suspension.

“The purpose behind issuing such a directive is to clarify on the time period of punishment. We had received many representations in this regard. The directive will bring clarity,” a senior DoPT official said.

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