A day after the SC ordered CVC PJ Thomas ouster, Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre, states and union territories on a public interest litigation filed by 83 retired bureaucrats including TSR Subramanium seeking directions for reforms in the bureaucracy.
A division bench of justice Dalveer Bhandari and justice Deepak Verma observed that the petition had raised “very important issues” and fixed April 4 for hearing the matter.
Alleging that the present policy of transfer, postings, promotions and disciplinary proceedings are politically motivated and non-transparent, the petitioners have asked for a fixed tenure for bureaucrats. They said transfers were used as instruments of reward and punishment, with officials being frequently transferred on the whims of the political bosses.
“Changes of government invariably lead to new rounds of transfers as the incoming group of political leaders seeks to reward supporters and put its "own" staff in key positions,” the petition stated, adding that the “transfer industry” was backed by entrenched and power vested officials. It added that ministers should not interfere in service matters such as postings and transfers.
Seeking a direction to constitute an independent civil service board or commission, the petitioners also want an order making it mandatory for every bureaucrat to record all instruction, directions, order or suggestions that are given to him or her orally by his or her administrative superior including the political boss.
The petitioners claimed that poor implementation and weak oversight had distorted the effectiveness of government policies. “There is an urgent need to make the civil servant accountable, sensitive and responsive,” stated the petition.