In the name of reforming the executive, the judiciary is overstepping its domain and interfering in day-to-day governance. It is not as if all bureaucrats are victims of political pressure. There are bureaucrats who have enriched themselves through corrupt practices and there are politicians who have entered public life with a good purpose. It is the political class that represents the people in a democracy and is answerable to the electors.
The inefficiency of the bureaucracy cannot be attributed to political interference alone. It is due to the archaic recruitment practices followed by the Public Service Commission. A serious study on this aspect is the urgent need of the hour. The establishment of a specialist civil service, in place of the existing generalist civil service, is a must for the fulfilment of the noble objectives laid down by the Supreme Court.
The fundamental principles of the civil service — neutrality, impartiality and anonymity — should not be undermined. Neutrality and anonymity insulate a bureaucrat from political pressures and makes him a professional. But a neutral, value-free bureaucracy can exist only in a society where a consensus exists on values. In transitional societies like India, where dissent and conflict exist, it is too much to expect anyone to be neutral.
A developing nation cannot afford a contradictory ethos between the political executive and the bureaucracy because it strikes at the root of a progressive administrative culture. The roles of political and administrative elite are complementary. They must work harmoniously in the interest of public welfare.
K. Rachna Raj,