|Sticky wicket for Netas|
Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Amendment Rules, 2014, notified on January 28, 2014, made it clear that an officer in a cadre post would hold the office for at least two years unless in the meantime he or she has been promoted, retired or sent on deputation outside the state or training exceeding two months. According to the amended rules, a cadre officer can be transferred before the minimum specified period only on the recommendation of the civil services board comprising senior bureaucrats like chief secretary as its chairman, and the senior most additional chief secretary or chairman of board of revenue or financial commissioner or an officer of equivalent rank as its member. The principal secretary or secretary in the department of personnel in the state government will be its member secretary. All state governments have to constitute this board, according to amended rules.
That means, political leadership of a state will find it extremely difficult to resort to random transfers of bureaucrats unless it convinces the civil services board itself. And if the civil services board recommends to the competent authority the names of officers to be transferred before the completion of minimum tenure, it has to record reasons in writing. In other words, the board is held accountable if it resorts to malpractices in premature transfer of officers.
That’s not all. The civil services board, under the new rules, will have to submit a quarterly report to the Central government “clearly stating the details of officers recommended to be transferred before the minimum specified tenure”.
According to a report published in The Times of India, some of the frequently transferred officers include 1982 batch Himachal Pradesh cadre officer Vineet Chaudhary (transferred 52 times in 31 years), Assam-Meghalaya cadre officer Winston Mark Simon Pariat (50 times in 36 years), Kusumjit Sidhu of the Punjab cadre (46 transfers), Haryana cadre officer Keshni Anand Arora (45 transfers) in addition to much talked about Ashok Khemka of Haryana cadre. Kusumjit Sidhu, a 1979 batch IAS, is currently the Union secretary in the department of public enterprise (DPE).
SC ruling on bureaucrats' fixed tenures