New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a petition seeking directions to insulate the country`s civil servants from political victimisation and patronage.
The apex court questioned the locus standi of Youth for Equality, a NGO whose PILs in some of the matters including the reservation for OBCs in state-run institutions for higher education was considered in the past.
"How are you concerned? They (bureaucrats) will come before us. We decline to entertain the petition," a bench of justices H L Dattu and M Y Eqbal said while dismissing the PIL filed by the NGO.
Advocate Gopal Shankar Narayan, appearing for the NGO, cited several instances including the recent suspension young lady IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal for allegedly acting tough against the sand mafia in neighbouring Noida.
The NGO, through its secretary Kaushal Kant Mishra who is a doctor by profession, had challenged Rule 3 of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 which permits the central or state government (as the case may be) to suspend a member of the All India Services if it is found "necessary and desirable" having "regard to the circumstances of the case".
"Such endowment of power on the political functionaries is overboard and uncanalized, occasioning a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution as far as the officers of the government are concerned," the PIL submitted.
It said as a result of the wide powers endowed on the political executive, the rules are misused by the state governments, which promptly place those officers on suspension who seek to enforce the law, and are merely discharging their duties.
"As the rules permit outright suspension for a 45-day period until confirmation by the central government or till an enquiry is commenced, this period is sufficient for unscrupulous elements to ensure that the honest officer is out of the way till the damage is completed," the NGO said.
It submitted that Uttar Pradesh has the most dubious record when it comes to the suspension of IAS officers who have had the "temerity of standing up to the whims and fancies of their political bosses".
Of the 200 officers who have been suspended across the country in the last 20 years, Uttar Pradesh alone has suspended 105 officers. Only one of these 105 was dismissed, showing that the power of the state machinery is used for wrong and mala fide reasons by the government, the petition claimed.