By the Way

By the way : Unease after Punjab judgement

Unease-after-Punjab-judgementThere is considerable unease for all those retired civil servants who are still serving in the central and state governments as Principal Secretary or Officer on Special Duty after the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s quashing of the appointment of retired IAS officer Suresh Kumar as Chief Principal Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The judgement has become a point of discussion in IAS fraternity. It’s reported that the High Court quashed Kumar’s appointment on the grounds of delegation of more powers and not following proper procedure on his appointment. When Amarinder Singh appointed Kumar, the High Court set aside the appointment and said the retired IAS officer was holding public office without any authority of law. The court said his being entrusted important functions after having ceased to be a public servant was inexplicable. It also wanted to know how such an appointee could be held accountable for his decisions. There are different schools of thought, which opined that there would be no responsibility and accountability if any retired IAS officer committed a mistake and the government had no powers in taking disciplinary action. This was applicable to all re-employed retired IAS officers. There are about 15 retired IAS officers appointed at various positions in Telengana and Andhra Pradesh alone. Captain Amarinder Singh has directed the State Advocate General to examine the High Court judgement and suggest further legal remedies. How things will unfold is yet to be seen as even the Prime Minister’s Office has a well-established tradition of over two decades of appointing retired civil servants as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. TKA Nair, who served with Dr. Manmohan Singh as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, was a retired IAS officer of the 1963-batch of the Punjab cadre. The current Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Nirpendra Mishra, is also a retired IAS officer of the 1967-batch of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Similarly, the Gujarat and Kerala governments have also appointed retired IAS officers as Chief Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister–K Kailashnathan and Nalini Netto, respectively. gfiles end logo
VOL. 11 | ISSUE 10 | Jan 2018


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