Fed up with politicians making life hell for civil services, associations of the three All India Services — IAS, IPS and IFoS — have joined hands to “persuade” the central government to put an end to suspension raj.
The rare move comes close on the heels of a young IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal being suspended for apparently standing up to the sand-mining mafia in Greater Noida.
But she isn’t alone. Over the last few months, two IPS and four Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers have also been suspended.
Two senior IFoS officers were suspended in UP three days before the axe fell on Nagpal.
“Frequent transfers and suspensions are being used in many states to ruthlessly break the spine of civil servants... so that they never stand up to vested interests again,” said a senior government official.
“The three associations are going to discuss the suspension rules tomorrow (Monday) and persuade the government to bring the rules in line with the letter and spirit of the Constitution,” said Atul Raj Chadha, secretary of the Central IFoS Association.
This is the first time that the three associations have made common cause when they seek changes in the rulebook on Monday.
Indiscriminate suspension is a problem common to the civil services, said SR Bhoosreddy, who represents the central IAS Association and first raised the demand for a “mandatory show cause notice” before suspension.
Former cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar told HT that suspensions were “not intended to be resorted to in order to humiliate or punish an officer but to avoid situations in which the officer can influence the course of the action against him”.
In theory, a suspension is not even a punishment. However, an IAS officer who had been on the wrong side of the political executive, recalled how families of officers are traumatised during suspension.
“Children become the butt of jokes in their circle... His classmates tease him to the extent that often the child stops going to school for some time,” the officer said.