Following suspension of IAS officer, govt may change rules

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SummaryDoPT plans amendments to protect officers from ‘political vendetta’

In the backdrop of the controversial suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal, the Centre is considering amending rules to ensure an IAS officer is not suspended or transferred due to vested interests. The department of personnel and training (DoPT) — which acts as nodal body for administrative matters related to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) — may revisit rules that outline procedure for disciplinary action against an officer of the service.

“We are considering making changes to the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 to ensure that an officer of such services is not suspended due to political vendetta or any other vested interest. The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free working of the officers,” a senior DoPT official said.

He said that no decision has been taken as of now on how to go about it. If changes in rules are made applicable, they will also have bearing on two other all-India services —Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) — besides IAS.

The Centre will seek opinions from concerned cadre-controlling authorities like ministry of home affairs (for IPS) and ministry of environment and forests (for IFoS) before going ahead with the change in rules. The matter is under discussion within DoPT, the official said.

The move comes in the backdrop of suspension of Nagpal, a 2010-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, who had taken on sand mining mafia active in Gautam Budh Nagar district of the state.

The 28-year-old officer was ostensibly suspended for ordering demolition of a wall of an under-construction mosque without following the due process.

Political parties including BJP and BSP, besides central and IAS associations of various states have demanded immediate reinstatement of the Nagpal. The over 4,700-member IAS Officers’ Association has recently also suggested changes in rules including prior sanction of the Centre before any officer of the service is suspended by a state government, among others.

“Revisit all rules regarding All India Services, in particular ‘All India Services (Disciplinary and Appeals Rules, 1969, wherein a provision for seeking prior approval of Central government should be made before suspending any IAS officer working under control of state governments,” the association’s secretary Sanjay R Bhoos Reddy said here.

He had recommended provision for serving of a “mandatory show cause notice” to an officer seeking his or her explanation within a specified time period before suspension. “Only after perusal of that particular IAS officer’s reply

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