The Centre is planning to act tough against officials of doubtful integrity and those poor at work. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked all departments to identify such public servants and move proposals for their premature retirement.
The decision comes following a meeting held by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha recently on the mechanism to be adopted to ensure probity among the Government servants. The DoPT has asked all the departments to invoke provisions of Fundamental Rule (56-J) to compulsorily retire such officials. Under Fundamental Rule 56-J, the Government has the “absolute right” to retire, if necessary in public interest, any Group A and B employee, who has joined service before the age of 35 and has crossed the age of 50.
The decision, third such in a row, came after the DoPT last week said that IAS, IPS and India Forest Service officers may lose their job if they overstay on foreign assignments for more than a month without permission. Tightening the noose further, the DoPT early this month said that the Government servants will face disciplinary action if they raise service matters related grievances directly to the PMO.
In the latest directives for forced retirement, a Group C Government servant, who has crossed the age of 55 can be retired prematurely if found corrupt or ineffective. Group A comprise officers of All India Services like IAS, IPS, Indian Forest Service, IRS, while Group B consists of non-gazetted officers and Group C clerical and ministerial staff.
The action can be taken only against such officers whose annual increments have been frozen and they have not got promotion in the past five years. The meeting emphasised rotation of officers on sensitive and non-sensitive posts and their review and screening under Fundamental Rule 56-J. The DoPT has been asked to monitor implementation and obtain compliance from all Ministries in this regard.
“As this activity is to be completed in a time-bound manner, it is requested that priority attention may be paid to it and inputs sent to the internal vigilance section at the very earliest,” said the circular issued to all departments of Central Government.
The Cabinet Secretariat has been issuing such orders from time to time. In February 2012, the UPA Government notified a rule making it compulsory for IAS, IPS and officers from other all-India services to retire in “public interest” if they fail to clear a review after 15 years of service.
Last week speaking at induction training programme for newly bureaucrats, DoPT MoS Jitendra Singh had indicated that the bureaucrats will be expected to have a high level of accountability with constant media and public scrutiny.