109 ex-civil servants term Centre's IAS deputation rules as 'unconstitutional'text_fields
A group of over 109 former civil servants on Thursday, January 27 released a statement opposing the Centre's decision to amend the IAS cadre rules.
As per the statement by the former civil servants, the proposed changes in the IAS and IPS cadre rules will allow greater scope for abuse of power by the Union government.
This according to them signifies that the whenever the Union government is unhappy with state governments it can target officers occupying strategic posts.
They further argued that the proposed amendments have not been thought through and are being rushed without adequate federal consultation in a manner which shows the present establishment's, by now familiar, penchant for arbitrary exercise of centralised power.
Terming the proposal as 'arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional, the former civil servants appealed the Union government to drop the proposal as it interfered with the basic structure of the Constitution and can cause irreparable damage.
"The proposed amendments to the cadre rules of all the three AIS seek to give unilateral powers to the Union to pick and choose any AIS officer(s) working in the states to be withdrawn from their services in the state of their allotment and brought to the Centre without the concurrence either of the officer concerned or of the state government that the officer is serving," the statement noted as per a PTI report.
While this change in the rules may appear to be a minor, technical one, it, in fact, hits at the very core of the Constitutional scheme of Indian federalism, it said.
The proposed amendment to the cadre rules fundamentally alters this relationship and makes a mockery of the delicate federal balance that the AIS are designed to maintain, the statement said.
Former lieutenant governor of Delhi, also a retired IAS officer, Najeeb Jung, former foreign secretary and ex-national security adviser Shivshankar Menon, former home secretary G K Pillai and former defence secretary Ajai Vikram Singh are among the 109 signatories to the statement.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has recently proposed changes in the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954 that will take away the power of states to override the Centre's request for seeking officers on central deputation.
In a proposal that has faced vehement disapproval from many opposition-ruled states, the union government has given itself power to appoint and transfer IAS and Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, overruling state governments.
Calling the plan "draconian", several Chief Ministers including West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee, Rajasthan's Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh's Bhupesh Baghel and Jharkhand's Hemant Soren have written to PM Modi to scrap it.
On the other hand, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have given their consent, officials said.