TANTRA, MANTRA, OR DRAMA … Modi govt issues new circular to eject ‘corrupt officials’ from service

NEWS RETIREMENT/CORRUPTION

NEW DELHI: The Union Government has, in a routine circular, asked all its departments to review service records of employees who have completed 30 years in job to identify inefficient or corrupt staff and retire them prematurely in public interest. Similar circulars had been issued in the past too, but these had no effect and only namesake action followed.

The Personnel Ministry order noted that the employees’ performance review is conducted under the Fundamental Rule (FR) 56 (J) and 56 (I), and also under Rule 48 (1) (b) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, that gives “absolute right” to the appropriate authority to retire a government servant, “if it is necessary to do so in public interest”.

The ministry order explained that premature retirement of government servants under these rules is not a penalty. It is distinct from ‘compulsory retirement’, which is one of prescribed penalties under Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965,” said the order issued on Friday. The government may, at any time after a government servant has attained the age of 50/55 years or completed 30 years of service, as the case may be, retire him/her prematurely in public interest, it said.

Instructions have been issued from time to time for undertaking periodic review of performance of government servants with a view to ascertaining whether they should be retained in service or retired prematurely. The latest order has been issued in order to bring in better clarity to the existing instructions and enable uniform implementation, the ministry order said. 

However, an effort has been made to review, consolidate and reiterate the guidelines so far issued on the subject at one place, the ministry said in the order issued to the secretaries of all Central government departments.

Giving details on applicability of FR 56 (J), the order said the service record of a group A and B category officer can be reviewed if he/she has attained the age of 50 years (in case of joining service before 35 years of age) or after attaining 55 years (in case of joining service after 35 years of age). Under FR 56 (I), the appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire a government servant in Group C service or post who is not governed by any pension rules, after he has completed 30 years’ service by giving him/her notice of not less than three months in writing or three months’ pay and allowances in lieu of such notice, it said.

For employees covered under Rule 48 (1) (b) of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, it said the review can be done at any time after a government servant has completed 30 years’ qualifying service and in the case of such retirement, the government servant shall be entitled to a retiring pension, provided that the appointing authority may also give a notice in writing to a government servant at least three months before the date on which he is required to retire in public interest or three months’ pay and allowances in lieu of such notice, said the order.

The Personnel Ministry has also asked all the departments to maintain a register for conducting such review.

A register of the government servants who are due to attain the age of 50/55 years or to complete 30 years of service, has to be maintained. The register should be scrutinized at the beginning of every quarter by a senior officer in the ministry/ department/ cadre, it said.

The Personnel Ministry has also mentioned composition of a review committee and broad criteria to be followed by it while conducting assessment of the employees’ performance. Government servants whose integrity is doubtful shall be retired. Government servants found to be ineffective shall also be retired. 

The basic consideration in identifying such government servants should be their fitness/competence to continue in the post held, it said. No government servant should ordinarily be retired on ground of ineffectiveness, if, in any event, he would be retiring on superannuation within a period of one year from the date of consideration of his case, reads the criteria mentioned in the order.

However, in case where there is a sudden and steep fall in the competence, efficiency or effectiveness of a government servant, it would be open to review such a case also for premature retirement. The entire service record, in addition to the Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR), of a government servant should be considered at the time of review, the order said.

The personal file of the government servant may contain valuable material. Similarly, his work and performance could also be assessed by looking into files dealt with by him or in any papers or reports prepared and submitted by him, it said. –Agencies, IHN-NN

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