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Indian Polity

Chief Secretary Transfer Issue

  • 31 May 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

The Central Government may initiate disciplinary action against the West Bengal Chief Secretary after he failed to report to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in New Delhi as ordered earlier.

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the “placement of services” of Chief Secretary, as per provisions Rule 6(1) of the Indian Administrative Service (cadre) Rules, 1954.
    • The ACC is headed by the Prime Minister, and the Home Minister is the other member.

Key Points

  • Chief Secretary of State:
    • Appointment:
      • The Chief Secretary is ‘chosen’ by the Chief Minister.
      • As the appointment of Chief Secretary is an executive action of the Chief Minister, it is taken in the name of the Governor of the State.
    • Position:
      • The post of Chief Secretary is the senior-most position in the civil services of the states and union territories of India.
      • The position is a cadre post for the Indian Administrative Services.
      • The Chief Secretary is the chief advisor to the Chief Minister in all matters of the cabinet.
    • Tenure:
      • The office of Chief Secretary has been excluded from the operation of the tenure system.
      • There is no fixed tenure for this post.
  • All India Services (AIS):
    • Pre Independence:
      • The Indian Civil Service (ICS) was the senior most amongst the Services of the Crown in India.
      • Besides the ICS, there was also the Imperial Police.
    • Post Independence:
      • The need of All India Services for maintaining the unity, integrity and stability of the nation was felt after Independence.
      • Constitutional Provisions: Accordingly, a provision was made in Article 312 of the Constitution for creation of one or more All India Services common to the Union and State.
      • The Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service are deemed to be constituted by the Parliament in terms of Article 312 of the Constitution.
      • After the promulgation of the Constitution, a new All India Service, namely, the Indian Forest Service, was created in 1966.
    • Recruitment and Postings:
      • The members of these services are recruited by the Centre, but their services are placed under various State cadres, and they have the liability to serve both under the State and under the Centre.
      • This aspect of the All India Services strengthens the unitary character of the Indian federation.
    • Controlling Authority:
      • The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is the cadre controlling authority for the IAS.
        • The Union Home Ministry is the cadre controlling authority of IPS officers.
      • The recruitment to all the three services is made by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
      • These officers are recruited and trained by the Central Government, and then allotted to different State cadres.
    • IAS Cadre Rules:
      • After the All India Services Act, 1951 came into existence, the IAS cadre rules were framed in 1954.
      • Deputation of Cadre Officers: A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the State governments concerned and the Central government, be deputed for service under the Central government or another State government.
      • Scenario of Disagreement: In case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the Central government.
        • The rule on deputation giving more discretionary powers to the Centre was added in May 1969.
    • Extension of Service:
      • Rule 16(1) of DCRB (Death-cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules says that “a member of the Service dealing with budget work or working as a full-time member of a Committee which is to be wound up within a short period may be given extension of service for a period not exceeding three months in public interest, with the prior approval of the Central Government”.
      • For an officer posted as Chief Secretary of a state, this extension can be for six months.
    • Precedence in Deputation:
      • Concurrence Required: Before any officer of AIS is called for deputation to the Centre, his or her concurrence is required.
      • Procedure: The Establishment Officer in DoPT invites nominations from State governments.
        • Once the nomination is received, their eligibility is scrutinised by a panel and then an offer list is prepared, traditionally done with the State government on board.
        • Central Ministries and offices can then choose from the list of officers on offer.
      • Course of Action on Refusal of Order:
        • The All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 are not clear on the punishment in such cases.
        • Penalising Authority: Rule 7 says, the authority to institute proceedings and to impose penalty will be the State government while he or she was “serving in connection with the affairs of a State.”

Source: TH

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