New Delhi: The Centre has decided to review the service rules to provide immunity to IAS and IPS officers from arbitrary suspensions and unjust disciplinary actions by the state governments.
The move comes after representatives of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) associations met Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V Narayanasamy here recently to demand change in service rules.
"Our officers are revisiting the rules to ensure adequate protection to All India services (IAS, IPS and IFoS) officers," Narayanasamy said.
The three associations of the elite services met the minister on Friday and demanded that the power of suspensions should be vested with the Centre instead of states in case of officers working in their jurisdiction among other changes in the rules.
"No decision has been taken on it," Narayanasamy said when asked whether the government was considering to take back the power to suspend an All India Services officer from states.
As per rules, state governments are authorised to take action against an IAS, IPS and IFoS services officer working under their jurisdiction.
The associations are agitated over recent suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal in Uttar Pradesh and strongly advocating change in rules to check such "arbitrary" and "malafide" abuse of power by state governments.
"It is relevant to bring to your kind attention that since early 1990s more than 175 IAS officers have been suspended of which more than 100 IAS officers have been suspended in the State of Uttar Pradesh alone," said Sanjay R Bhoos Reddy, Secretary of IAS officers` association in a memorandum given to Narayanasamy.
"These facts, which are matters of record, speak for themselves the misuse, rather abuse of this delegated power to the state government, whose duty is to protect the honest, sincere and public spirited officers in their discharge of official public duties," said Reddy.
"Needless to say that arbitrary, ad-hoc, baseless and malafide suspensions of the AIS officers by the state governments, who are not the appointing authority, of the AIS officers has led to lot of anguish and resentment among the AIS officers across the country," he said.
The associations had demanded a mandatory provision for the governments to issue a `show cause notice` with a minimum period of 15 days to any officer before suspension and for states to compulsorily seek prior concurrence of the central government to suspend the officer giving the facts and the grounds for suspension.
IPS officers` association secretary Pankaj Kumar Singh said analysis of various instances of suspension indicates that quite often tough action by a particular officer in public interest and against a powerful vested interest group, had preceded his or her suspension.
The recent case of Nagpal, a 2010 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, and an earlier case of Ajay Misra, a 2003 batch IPS officer if Uttar Pradesh cadre are few examples to quote, Singh said in a memorandum.
The IFoS Association had also cited with concern the recent spate of suspension of a number of All India Service officials on very flimsy grounds including the case of Nagpal.
These suspensions set an unfortunate trend of taking action without following due process of law and justice and has shaken the faith of officers in justice and fair play, said A R Chadha, Secretary of central IFoS officers` association.
28-year-old Nagpal, was suspended on July 27 by Uttar Pradesh government, ostensibly for ordering demolition of a wall of an under-construction mosque without following the due process.
The officer, as SDM, had taken action against sand mining mafia active in Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.