There is a sense of unease among senior civil servants at the Centre over a decision of the government last week to constitute a committee to review representations from employees asked to retire compulsorily in “public interest’’.
The decision is a follow-up to an earlier office memorandum of the Department of Personnel and Training to all the ministries and departments to ensure periodic review of officers who should be considered for compulsory retirement on grounds of integrity or competence.
Clause seldom used earlier
The provision for compulsory retirement of officials found wanting on one count or the other is not new but has seldom been used by the previous governments.
After the Modi government came to power in 2014, the DoPT made it a point to flag the order to all the departments and ministries with an emphatic note that it should be treated seriously.
The decision of the government last year to send home 30 senior officers from Income-Tax department sent shock waves among the civil servants.
Significantly, in his interview with a television channel on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it a point to mention on how the move to sack the revenue officers was extraordinary.
Focus is on my system: PM
“People who weren’t transferred since 20 years, I got them transferred. So, one, my focus is on my system. Second, I also tell the country, we would have to give out something for the poor in our country.It is my responsibility to give the people an account of every rupee” The new committee appointed by the Cabinet Secretary has been mandated to review petitions from officials identified for compulsory retirement under Fundamental Rule 56 or Rule 48 of CCS (Pension) Rules. Rule 56(J) of the FR says the appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire, if it is necessary to do so in public interest, any Government employee as per provisions of Rules”.
Rule 48 of the CCS Pension rules says that all Government servants covered by CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, who have completed 30 years of service, can be asked to compulsorily retire by the appropriate authority.
Panel will review appeals from employees identified for compulsory retirement