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No suspension of IAS officers without PM approval

by Legal DesireDecember 31, 2015

IAS officers working under the central government can now be placed under suspension only with approval of the Prime Minister, according to new All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Amendment Rules, 2015.

“IAS officers working under Central government shall only be suspended on the recommendations of the Central Review Committee, as amended, with the approval of the minister-in-charge of the department of personnel and training (DoPT),” say the revised rules. DoPT is directly under the charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though he is assisted by minister of state Jitendra Singh.

The central review committee has been reconstituted with DoPT secretary as its chairperson and secretary of the concerned department or his nominee and additional secretary or establishment officer in DoPT as its members.

The amended rules seek to provide immunity to civil servants – be it IAS, IPS or IFoS officers — against victimisation by the political regimes in their states of posting. “As soon as member of the Service is placed under suspension or is deemed to have been placed under suspension, the information is this regard shall be communicated to government of India expeditiously and within the period of forty-eight hours,” say the rules.’

The revised norms have cut down the period of suspension of an officer by the Centre and the states from three months to two months. Even if extended , the suspension order will be valid for only four months and not six months as provided for in the earlier rules.

 The new rules come in view of “arbitrary” suspensions faced by IAS officers Durga Sakthi Nagpal and Ashok Khema, allegedly after they were perceived as “not pliable enough” by the respective political regimes in UP and Haryana.

Not only must the cadre controlling authority in the central government be sent a copy of the suspension order along with the reasons or grounds of suspension “not later than 48 hours”, but every order of suspension and order of revocation, to be made in stipulated standard form, must be endorsed to the appointing authority if made by any other authority.

As regards appeals filed against suspension orders, the new rules stipulate that the authority who made the order, on receipt of copy of every appeal, must forward the same with its comments together with relevant records to the appellate authority within 30 days. This period was earlier 45 days. If the comments of the state government are not received, the central government shall take a decision on advance copy of the appeal received by it.

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