Breaking its silence on changing suspension rules that led to victimisation of civil servants, the government on Friday told civil service representatives that the Centre appreciated their concerns and was in the process revisiting disciplinary rules.
Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy told a delegation of 100 officers of the three All India Services (AIS) that the Centre "appreciated" the concerns of the civil servants and recognised that the power to suspend had not been used judiciously by some state governments.
Narayanasamy told officers from the three services - the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service - that he had directed the department of personnel & training to revisit the rules.
But he advised patience as the rules could not be changed overnight and would need to go through a time-consuming process of consultations with the state in view of the federal scheme.
Narayanasamy's comments came after civil service representatives pointed how state governments had abused their suspension powers and questioned the rationale - and legality - of empowering the states to unilaterally suspend AIS officers.
One officer questioned the centre could have delegated the power to suspend officers to the states when it was the central government and the Union Public Service Commission that alone had the power to impose a major penalty on the officer.
If the state does not have power to impose a major penalty on the officer under the law, how can it be given the power to suspend, he said. An AIS officer can only be suspended if the state intends to initiate major penalty proceedings against the officer and only when there is an apprehension that the officer is trying to scuttle this probe.