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Bureaucrats should have fixed tenure: SC verdict
Nov 01, 2013

The Supreme Court latest verdict by the bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan states that bureaucrats should not act on verbal orders given by political bosses. All actions must be taken by them on the basis of written communication. SC further states that political interference should be removed to insulate bureaucrats from frequent transfers by giving fixed tenure to them.

A fixed minimum tenure to a civil servant will not only promote professionalism and efficiency, but also good governance.

It asked the Centre and all State governments along with Union Territories to issue directions within three months for providing fixed tenure to civil servants.  Further Civil Services Board be constituted at the Centre and State-levels. 

The judgement comes close on the heels of controversies surrounding Ashok Khemka, IAS officer of Haryana cadre over DLF-Robert Vadra land deal, and Durga Sakhti Nagpal, UP cadre IAS officer, who was targeted by the state government for alleged misconduct.

PIL filed on this subject states that there is an urgent need to make the civil servants accountable, sensitive and responsive. If this is achieved, there will be across-the-spectrum benefits. Transfers are often used as instruments of reward and punishment, with officials being frequently transferred on the whims and caprices as well as the personal needs of local politicians and other vested interests. Officers, especially those in the All India Services serving in state governments, have no stability or security of tenure.  The PIL had also said the civil servants at all levels should be given a minimum three-year fixed tenure on each post to foster functional freedom and independence.  Any premature transfer should specifically be authorised by the 'civil service board/commission' on specific circumstances to be brought out in writing.

 

 


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