As in the past, the move may come a cropper in Uttar Pradesh
IF THE prevailing situation is any indication, the Centre’s move to provide a fixed tenure to officers of the All India Services may come a cropper, at least in Uttar Pradesh.
A case in point is State government failure to meet its own commitment made before the Supreme Court in 2002 to provide a fixed two-year tenure to the IAS and the PCS officers.
The State Government had made the commitment after the UP IAS Association urged the apex court to get it impleaded in a case involving UP Jal Nigam.
The State Government had also assured that no officers would be shifted before the fixed tenure ‘without exhaustively outlining the reasons’ for the same. The Centre has on August 24, 2006 notified the fixed tenure rule for the All India Services officers.
The notification provides for a committee headed by the chief secretary to approve any decision to transfer a bureaucrat before completion of his minimum tenure.
As a copy of the notification is yet to reach Lucknow, the State Government has not been able to take a view on the issue. The Centre’s move, however, has become a subject of debate in the corridors of power with officers wondering how such an attempt would curtail powers of the political bosses.
According to them, a committee headed by the CS may not make much of a difference unless the CS too is assured a fixed tenure and protection as has been done in the case of cabinet secretary and other senior officers posted at the Centre. Any such committee (without protecting the chief secretary) may meet the same fate as has been meted out to the Civil Service Board in UP, said a senior officer adding the Board here had only proved to be a rubber stamp in the hands of political bosses.
Significantly, in almost all the cases the board gives its approval to the orders of the political executive with regard to the transfer of officers. More often than not the consent of the board members is sought either on telephone or they are asked to put their signatures on the dotted lines.
A question mark thus hangs on the impact of the Centre’s move here Asked to comment, a senior officer said the situation had improved in the recent years with the average tenure of the district magistrates going up to about one year now against less than one year earlier.