By the Way

Ready to serve, ready to retire

50 or 55 years old, then be ready to be compulsorily retired prematurely.
Enter Vol.14 ISSUE 4-6 JULY-SEPT 2020

If you are a government servant and 50 or 55 years old, then be ready to be compulsorily retired prematurely. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued a circular on August 28, 2020, mentioning “Periodic Review of Central Government Employees for strengthening of administration under Fundamental Rule (FR) 560)1(l) and Rule 48 ofCCS (Pension) Rules, 1972”.  The order categorically states, “The objective of Fundamental Rule (FR) 560)1(l) and Rule 48 of CS(Pension) Rules, 1972, is to strengthen the administrative machinery by developing responsible and efficient administration at all levels and to achieve efficiency, economy and speed in the disposal of Government functions. It is clarified that premature retirement of Government servants under these rules is not a penalty. It is distinct from Compulsory Retirement’, which is one of prescribed penalties under CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965.” The 10-page DoPT order will have an impact on 46 lakh government employees. Point no. 6 of the DoPT order states, “Government may, at any time after a Government servant has attained the age of 50/55 years or completed 30 years of service, as the case may be, retire him pre-maturely in public interest. However, non-adherence to the time-lines as indicated in order due to certain administrative exigencies shall not take away the powers of Appropriate Authority to prematurely retire a Government servant under FR 56(j), 56(l) and Rule 48 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972. Therefore, review of a Government servant for the purposes of these Rules can be undertaken even after he has attained the age of 50/55 years in cases covered by FR 56 (j) orafter he has completed 30 years of qualifying service under FR 56(l) / Rule 48 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972.”

The DoPT this time has come out completely armed with citations from different court judgements. The order cites the judgement in the case of UOI & Col. J.N.Sinha [1571 SCR (1)791], where the Hon’ble Supreme Court had not only upheld the validity of FR 56(j), butalso held that no show-cause notice needs to be issued to any Government servant before a notice of retirement is issued to him under the aforesaid provisions. The officers before taking any legal course should read the cases which DoPT has mentioned in its order viz. State of Gujarat vs Umedbhai M. Patel, 2001 (3) SCC, 314, Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of S Ramchandra Raju vs State of Orissa {(1 994) 3 SCC424}, K. Kandaswamy vs Union Of India & Anr, 1996 AIR 277, 1995 SCC (6)162, State of U.P. and Others vs Vijay Kumar Jam, Appeal (civil) 2083 of 2002.

gfiles spoke to many officers who say that there is nothing new about the rules. But civil servants are worried “because 50/55 years is such an age where children are ready for higher studies, the family is in the process of building a house. Life starts stabilising and now the hammer of government may put a discordant note. It will have a deeper impact in society.”  It has been observed that the government has already weeded out top-ranking civil servants from the decision-making process. Top-ranking civil servants are, in fact, happy serving the states and are no longer hankering to join the central ministries. Most of the ministries now are full of allied service officers. Insiders inform that this whole plan is to introduce lateral entry in the government with a big bang.

Sources disclosed that internally the job has been assigned to RSS functionaries who have been working for the last four months. As the sources inform, the RSS functionaries have drafted a list of officers, especially in the economic ministries, who are dead wood and must be weeded out. The RSS functionaries, as per sources, have also drafted a list of officers who must be inducted as lateral entries in the different ministries. The process of premature retirement has already started in the ministries and officers have been ordered to pack up and go.

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