Official sources said the Railways removed 19 of its officials who had received adverse vigilance reports on Wednesday, putting into effect a rule that allows a government employee to be forced to retire after being given a minimum of three months' notice or a similar period's pay.
According to the sources, this is on top of the 75 officials who have been forced to take VRS in the last 11 months, including senior officials such as general managers and secretaries.
The move is part of the government's effort to weed out non-performing central government employees.
According to the sources, the 19 people who have been retired include four officials from the electrical and signalling services, three from medical and civil services, two from personnel, and one from stores, traffic, and mechanical services.
Those terminated include staff from the Western Railway, Central Railway, Eastern Railway, Northern Central Railway, Northern Railway, Sand Coach Factory Kapurthala, Modern Coach Factory Rae Bareli, Diesel Loco Motive Works Varanasi, and RDSO Lucknow, among others.
The appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire a Central Government Employee under FR 56(j), FR 56(l), or Rule 48 (1)(b) of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 if it is necessary for the public interest. Under Rule 56 (j) of FR, ‘The appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire, if it is necessary to do so in the public interest, any Government employee as per provisions of Rule’. Rule 48(1) (b) of CCS Rules, 1972 states that a government servant who has completed 30 years of service may be required by Appointing Authority to retire in the public interest.
However, the 75 officials who submitted their papers and chose VRS are those who have been denied promotion, sent on leave, or who have been forced to retire due to circumstances.
An employee is paid a salary equivalent to two months' pay for every year of service left under the VRS scheme. In compulsory retirement, this benefit is not available.
The process began in July of last year when nine officials submitted their papers, followed by six more in August, four more in September, seven more in October, nine more in November, six more in December, 11 in January, seven in February, eight in March, five in April, and three this month. According to the sources, two more are expected to do so next month.
Railway Board Member (Traction and Rolling Stock) Rahul Jain was the highest-ranking official to apply for VRS, and his application was approved in January of this year.