THE CENTRE’S decision to turn down the request to de-caderise two posts of district magistrates has put the State Government in a Catch-22 situation.
The Centre has suggested that the IAS officers who are on Super Time Scale (STS) can be posted to meet the shortage of staff at that level. The State Government had requested the Centre to de-cadersie posts of district magistrates of Mahamayanagar and Shravasti on May 31, 2006.
Director (Services) Sangeeta Singh (Department of Personnel and Training), in a letter number 2382/two-1-2006-352 in a letter sent to chief secretary Naveen Chandra Bajpai this month has communicated: “The Government of India has decided that request of Uttar Pradesh government for de-cadrement of two posts of DMs at Shravasti and Mahamayanagar cannot be agreed to.”
“The posts of district collectors have been included in senior duty posts and this position is uniform in every State. There is no justification for de-cadrement of these senior duty posts.” Besides upsetting the applecart of UP PCS Association, the Centre’s decision poses a big challenge to State Government that has failed to convince the Centre on the decision to post PCS officers as DMs in Mahamayanagar and Shravasti. Senior officers are already consulting the lawyers to find ways to justify the State Government’s decision.
The Centre’s decision may prove handy to the UP IAS Association which has filed a petition at the Allahabad High Court challenging the State Govt’s move.
The State Government had posted two PCS officers as DMs following Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s announcement in this regard. CM had made the announcement to fulfill the promise that his party made to PCS officers in the party’s election manifesto. The UPPCS Association has already filed an application in the Allahabad High Courtin this regard.
Significantly, the letter quotes Rule 9 of the IAS (Cadre) Rules 1954 saying “Cadre post in a State shall not be filled by a person, who is not a cadre officer, except when there is no suitable cadre officer available for filling the vacancy.”
It further states that prior permission of the Centre was needed to post any non-cadre officer on any cadre post. “It is further provided in case of a person, who is not a cadre officer is continued beyond a period of three months, the State Government shall obtain the prior approval of the Centre for such continuance,” she said. As the State Government had made the request on the grounds that it was facing shortage of IAS cadre (officers who could be posted as district magistrates), the letter states: “Further, the Department of Personnel and Training has issued instructions on May 31, 2006 regarding restructuring of the strength and composition of cadres in accordance with respective cadre rules during cadre review.”
While turning down the Government’s request, the Centre has suggested that officers in STS could be posted as district magistrates to meet such shortage. “If the Government feels that there is a shortage of sufficient number of officers for sending to the posts of district magistrates, the State Government may refer to this department’s instructions dated May 31, 2006 and examine the possibility utilising STS officers in posts like the DM and chief executives of Zila Panchayats in key districts to meet the shortage of officers at the middle level,” she said.