New Delhi: The Modi government compulsorily retired 312 government officials in the last five years, Parliament was informed Wednesday.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, said the government had reviewed the performance of 36,000 Group A government officials and over 82,000 Group B officers between July 2014 and May 2019.
Subsequently, he added that 125 Group A officers and 187 Group B officers were forcibly retired “on ground of lack of integrity and ineffectiveness in public interest”.
“As per the applicable disciplinary rule, the government has the right to proceed against corrupt officials on the basis of the available evidence,” Singh’s written reply read. “The government has an absolute right to retire government officials prematurely on the ground of lack of integrity and ineffectiveness in public interest as per provisions of Fundamental Rules (FR) 56 (j) (i), rule 48 of Central Civil Services (CCS) pension rules 1972 and rule 16 (3) (amended) of All India Services. These rules lay down the policy of periodic review and premature retirement of government services.”
Government jobs in the central government are organised into Groups A, B, C and D categories. According to the government’s definition, “Group A posts carry higher administrative and executive responsibilities and include senior management positions in the ministries/departments and field organisations.”
“The middle and junior levels of Group `A’ along with Group `B’ constitute middle management.”
Reply after DoPT sought names for premature retirement
The reply comes weeks after the DoPT wrote to all ministries and government departments to recommend names of officers every month for premature retirement.
“The government has already asked all ministries to recommend names for premature retirement by the 15th of every month and some names of IAS and IPS officers are already under the scanner,” an official in the DoPT said. “The government is very serious about getting rid of deadwood and corrupt officials from the service.”
While the rule allowing the government to forcibly retire officials always existed, it was widely believed that it had rarely been invoked to punish the bureaucracy — a perception which has proven to be false with the government’s recent statement in Parliament.
Under the new Modi regime, the rule has in any case got an impetus as the government forcibly retired 27 IRS officers from both Income Tax and Customs departments just last month.