AP: IAS officers want change in rule to fix charge

IAS Officers Assn is seeking a change in rule book to incorporate new clause that mandates specifying at whose behest a particular order is issued.

Hyderabad: In the wake of the arrest of a
senior official in an illegal mining case, the IAS Officers
Association here is seeking a change in the business rule book
to incorporate a new clause that mandates specifying at whose
behest a particular order is being issued.

The clause, if it comes into effect, will make it
mandatory for specifying at whose behest a particular order is
being issued -- be it the CM, the minister
concerned or even a superior officer.

"This fixes the responsibility and nails the guilty in
case of any eventuality," a high-ranking bureaucrat pointed

Though the IAS Officers Association is serious about
this, the Andhra Pradesh government is said to be disinclined
to entertain the proposal.

Following the arrest of senior bureaucrat Y Srilakshmi in
the illegal mining case, a serious internal discussion is
taking place in the Association these days on the do`s and
don`ts to be followed when bureaucrats are pressurised by
political bosses to do a thing that is not in accordance with
the rules.

"Follow the rule book scrupulously. Put down everything
in black and white, leaving no room for suspicion" is the
general advice that senior IAS officers are offering their
juniors these days.

With regards to the Srilakshmi case, the general view
among the bureaucrats was that she was "doing things in
anticipation" often going overboard.

"She was, no doubt, a bright and confident officer. From
a nondescript post of Commissioner, Sugar, Srilakshmi became
Secretary, Industries, and was probably overwhelmed. That
could have made her too obligatory to her political bosses,"
the bureaucrat noted.

"It`s, of course, a warning for all bureaucrats that we
need to be `balanced and normal` while taking decisions. What
happened in AP between 2004 and 2009 is no secret but there
were many officers who refused to budge even when they were so
forced," a Principal Secretary said, citing the case of the
then Transport Secretary AK Tigdi as an example.

"Tigdi was transferred but that`s the best the political
bosses do. If we budge, we may have to pay a price at some
point of time," the Principal Secretary added, citing
Srilakshmi as an example.

"Irrespective of whether or not the business rules are
amended, we need to introspect our role and responsibility as
bureaucrats. Introspection is required among seniors on
whether they should caution the juniors if they are going
wrong. The junior officers should share with the seniors any
issue for guidance," an IAS officer said.


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