Fixed tenure for chief secretary
THERE IS a strong feeling among the IAS officers that the UP IAS Association take up the issue of two-year tenure for chief secretary and other officers holding important positions. The State Government should work out an effective mechanism to deal with it, feel officers. They pointed out that the prevailing uncertainty over the tenure of officers had an adverse impact on the officers’ morale.
An officer has demanded that the association should take up the issue with the government in the backdrop of the latter’s affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in the SC Awasthi versus the UP Jal Nigam case in 2002. A recent SC division bench order on the petition of former DGP Prakash Singh to provide mechanism to appoint DGP, fix tenure for DGP, IG (Zone), DIG (Range), district police chief and the station officer (incharge) is being discussed here. Besides, the SC order also dealt with setting up of a state security commission to ensure that police too functioned within the framework of law and an establishment aboard to carry out police transfers.
As the SC orders have to be implemented by December 31, the IAS officers feel that the government should evolve the same mechanism to appoint chief secretary. Besides, it should ensure that the officers holding important positions get a fixed tenure. UP IAS Association secretary Sanjay Bhus Reddy refused to comment on the issue. However, a senior IAS officer said the State Government would examine the SC order in the light of the affidavit filed before the apex court. The government had assured the apex court that a minimum two-year tenure would be given to the IAS and the PCS officers.
The government also set up an Establishment Board to deal with the transfers of all-India service officers. While the average tenure of officers posted in districts has come down to below one year, the establishment board has become a defunct body. Questions are already being raised over the Centre’s recent move to provide a fixed tenure to all-India service officers. Under such circumstances, all eyes are now set on the SC order on police reforms.
There are indications that State Government may consider reworking on a parallel mechanism to appoint the chief secretary and ensure fixed tenure for IAS officers.
Much would depend on the attitude of the political leadership towards issue, said another officer. As the Vidhan Sabha elections were inching closer, the government had to evaluate options before taking a decision on the issue, he added.