IAS officers working under central government cannot be suspended without the nod of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a move aimed at allowing bureaucrats to take decisions without any fear of political backlash. A relief has also been provided in the revised rules to all-India services officers -- IAS, IPS and IFoS -- working in various states in the revised rules under which the Centre needs to be informed within 48 hours if any officer is suspended by them followed by a detailed report within a fortnight.
The rules also cut short to two months from three months the period of suspension of an officer by the Centre and states. The order of suspension, if it is extended, will now be valid for four months as against existing six months period. "IAS officers working under central government shall only be suspended on the recommendations of the central review committee as amended with the approval of Minister-in-charge, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT)," the new rules said.
The Prime Minister is in charge of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions which has DoPT as one of the departments. The three-member central review committee will be headed by Secretary in DoPT and will have Establishment Officer and another Secretary of ministry concerned, as its members. "The government's aim is to eradicate corruption from bureaucracy and we also wish to provide officer-friendly environment so that none of the officers is intimidated by any of the government rules and give their best performance.
"The new rules will also encourage honest officers and ensure justice for all," Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh told news agency PTI.
The move assumes significance as officers like Ashok Khemka, Durga Sakthi Nagpal and Kuldip Narayan, among others, have allegedly been victims of arbitrary suspension and transfer.
According to the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Amendment Rules, 2015, as soon as a member of the service is placed under suspension or is deemed to have been placed under suspension, the information in this regard shall be communicated to the Government of India expeditiously and within a period of 48 hours. A copy of the suspension order along with the reasons or grounds of suspension shall be communicated to the cadre controlling authority (DoPT for IAS, Home Ministry for IPS and Environment Ministry for IFoS) in the central government "not later than forty eight hours", it further said.
There was no such time-limit in the existing rules. An order of suspension, which has not been extended shall be valid for a period not exceeding sixty days and an order of suspension which has been extended shall remain valid for a further period not exceeding 120 days, at a time, unless revoked earlier, the new rules said.