Sacking corrupt and inefficient govt officers sounds great but may never become preferred course of action

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Updated: July 9, 2019 7:48:02 AM

Officials covered by FR 56(j), 56(1) or Rule 48(1) (b) of CCS (Pension) Rules, must be reviewed six months before they attain the age of 50-55 years, in cases covered by FR 56(j) and after the completion of 30 years of qualifying service under FR 56(1) or Rule 48 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972.

indian bureaucracy, Cabinet Secretariat, Lieutenant Governor Delhi Anil Baijal, Central Vigilance Commission, retirement in india, retirement government, narendra modi corruption modiThe L-G’s directive comes close on the heels of the Union government sacking 27 senior revenue officials over allegations of corruption.

Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi Anil Baijal calling for the compulsory retirement of “deadwood” and “dark sheep” officers of the Delhi administration has added thrust to a larger call for making compulsory retirement a procedural measure—more so since the LG has called for a multi-pronged strategy, involving “legal, administrative and technological” measures to crack down on inefficiency and corruption by bureaucrats.

The L-G, writing to the chief secretary, the vice-chairman of Delhi Development Authority and the top cops of Delhi Police amongst others, highlighted the fact that “FR 56(J)/ Rule-48 of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972” are important administrative tools for such action.

The L-G’s directive comes close on the heels of the Union government sacking 27 senior revenue officials over allegations of corruption. Without doubt, if the compulsory retirement of government officials deemed incompetent or dishonest is made a part of due procedure, administrative efficiency and efficacy of governance could improve drastically.

It is not that such provisions are absent—indeed, Rule 56(j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, that the L-G invokes mandates periodical review of performance of government servants to assess whether they should continue in service or be retired in public interest.

Officials covered by FR 56(j), 56(1) or Rule 48(1) (b) of CCS (Pension) Rules, must be reviewed six months before they attain the age of 50-55 years, in cases covered by FR 56(j) and after the completion of 30 years of qualifying service under FR 56(1) or Rule 48 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972. But, given how sparingly this has been used, it is likely that the bureaucratic machinery will always favour the status quo unless an L-G or a prime minister (at the Union level) calls for the provision to be used—which is why, using compulsory retirement as regular action may not take off. Till then, the best bet is strong leaders batting for efficiency.

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