Centre seeks clarification on appointment of non-IAS officers as civic heads in Maha
The Central government has sought a clarification from the Maharashtra government over the appointment of non-IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers to head municipal corporations in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The state government has appointed non-IAS officers in Mira-Bhayandar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Panvel municipal corporations despite the Centre’s 2018 diktat to appoint IAS officers in emerging civic bodies.
The clarification has been has sought by the department of personnel in a letter to chief secretary Sitaram Kunte, dated September 8. The letter has also stated that appointment of any non-IAS cadre officers on posts meant for IAS cadre by the state government, without obtaining the prior approval of DoPT, amounts to violation of Rule 9 of IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954.
“The Maharashtra government is requested to furnish comments on posting of non-cadre officers on cadre posts and to furnish details of all officers occupying the cadre poses in the state,” the letter, accessed by HT, read.
On September1, HT had carried a report on how the state flouted the Centre’s norms while appointing commissioners to head Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi-Nizampur municipal corporations a few months ago. DoPT, by issuing a notification on June 15, 2018, stated that D-class municipal corporations in the list of civic bodies should be mandatorily headed by an IAS officer. Six of the nine corporations (Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Kalyan-Dombivli and Panvel) in MMR were in the list, while the remaining three (Mumbai, Thane and Navi-Mumbai) are already in DoPT’s list that mandates the state to appoint IAS officers to head these civic bodies. In case of non-availability of an IAS officer, the state can appoint a non-IAS but not for a period of more than three months.
Incumbent Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation’s (MBMC) commissioner Dilip Dhole was personal secretary to Eknath Shinde. Shinde heads the state urban development department (UDD), which appoints officers for smaller civic bodies. The appointments of non-IAS officers in MBMC and Bhiwandi-Nizampur civic body were done by removing IAS officers, who held MBBS degrees and were deliberately appointed when the Covid-19 was at peak last year.
An official from the general administration department, which appoints IAS officers, said that UDD had not informed them while appointing non-IAS officers for these bodies.
Former Mira-Bhayander corporator Sanjay Pange had complained to Governor BS Koshyari about the flouting of the Centre’s diktat. The Governor, too, had on August 27, sought clarification from the state government.