Thursday, October 31, 2013


SC orders fixed tenure for bureaucrats & Suggests that the bureaucrats should not act on verbal orders given by politicians

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Centre and the States to set up a Civil Services Board (CSB) for the management of transfers, postings, inquiries, process of promotion, reward, punishment and disciplinary matters and recommends fixed tenure for bureaucrats.

A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose, giving a series of directions while disposing of a public interest writ petition — filed by former Union Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian; former CECs T.S. Krishnamurthy and N. Gopalaswami; former Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Abid Hussain; former CBI Director Joginder Singh; former Manipur Governor Ved Prakash Marwah and 77 others — also said bureaucrats should not act on verbal orders given by politicians and suggested a fixed tenure for them. 


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                     WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.82 OF 2011

T.S.R. Subramanian & Ors.               … Petitioners


Union of India & Ors.                   … Respondents


                    WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.234 OF 2011

                               J U D G M E N T

K.S. Radhakrishnan, J.

1.    Article 32 of the Constitution  of  India  has  been  invoked  by  few
eminent  retired  civil  servants  highlighting  the  necessity  of  various
reforms for preservation of  integrity,  fearlessness  and  independence  of
civil servants at the Centre and State  levels  in  the  country.    Prayers
made in this writ petition are based on various reports and  recommendations
made  by   several   Committees   appointed   for   improving   the   public
administration.  On the basis of  various  reports,  following  reliefs  are
sought in the writ petition :-

(i)   Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate  writ,
      order  or  direction  requiring   the   Respondents   to   create   an
      “independent” Civil Service Board or Commission both at the Centre and
      the State based on recommendations by the Hota Committee,  2004  (para
      5.09, para 5.11, Main Recommendations No.38); the  2nd  Administrative
      Reforms Commission 2008 (10th Report, para 9.8); the statement adopted
      at the Conference of  Chief  Ministers  on  Effective  and  Responsive
      Administration, 1997;

(ii)  Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate  writ,
      order or direction requiring the respondents to fixed tenure for civil
      servants ensuring stability based on recommendations by Jha Commission
      1986 (para 7.2); Central  Staffing  Scheme,  1996  (para  17.01,  para
      17.02,  para  17.03,  para  17.12),  the  2nd  Administrative  Reforms
      Commission  (10th  Report,  para  8.7,  para  9.8,  para  17.5),  Hota
      Committee Report, 2004 (Main Recommendations No.39);

(iii) Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate  writ,
      order or direction requiring the respondents  to  mandate  that  every
      civil  servant  formally  record  all  such   instructions/directions/
      orders/suggestions  which  he/she  receives,  not  only  from  his/her
      administrative  superiors  but  also   from   political   authorities,
      legislators,   commercial   and   business   interests    and    other
      persons/quarters having interest, wielding influence or purporting  to
      represent those in authority based on  the  principles  recognized  by
      Rule 3(3)(ii)(iii) of the All India Service Conduct Rules, 1968 and as
      implicitly recognized by the Santhanam Committee Report, 1962 (Section
      6, sub-para 33[iii].

2.    This Court, considering the importance of the  matter,  issued  notice
to various State Governments and the Union Territories so  as  to  ascertain
their views on the various issues raised in this case.  Most of  the  States
have filed detailed counter affidavits explaining their  stand  with  regard
to the reliefs prayed for in this writ petition.

3.    Shri K.K. Venugopal, learned senior counsel  appearing  for  the  writ
petitioners,  referred  elaborately  to  the  above-mentioned  reports   and
highlighted the necessity of the creation of  a  Civil  Service  Board  (for
short ‘CSB’), both  at  the  Centre  and  State  level,  with  a  degree  of
independence so that it  can  make  recommendations  on  all  transfers  and
postings without  sacrificing  the  executive  freedom  of  the  Government.
Learned senior counsel pointed out that such CSB shall function  in  a  bare
advisory capacity and its recommendations will not impose any constraint  on
the  independence  of  the  political  authority  to  effect  postings   and
transfers, including  premature  transfers.   Learned  senior  counsel  also
highlighted the necessity for providing a fixed tenure  for  civil  servants
ensuring stability  which  is  highly  necessary  for  implementing  various
programmes which will have  social  and  economic  impact  on  the  society.
Learned  senior  counsel  also  highlighted  the  reasons  for  recoding  of
instructions, directions and orders by the civil servants so that  they  can
function  independently  and  the  possibility  of  arbitrary  and   illegal
decisions could be avoided.
4.    Mr. Paras Kuhad,  learned  ASG  appearing  for  the  Union  of  India,
opposed in principle prayer for setting up of independent CSB at the  Centre
and the State  levels,  which,  according  to  the  learned  ASG,  would  be
interfering with the governmental functions.   Learned  ASG  also  submitted
that any mechanism within the governmental structure could  be  thought  of,
but involvement of any person, howsoever high he may be, who is not part  of
the Centre or the State Government, would not be  advisable,  especially  in
the absence of any such provision in the Constitution or the  laws  made  by
Centre and the State Governments.   Learned ASG also  submitted  that  based
on the 2nd Administrative Reforms Committee (ARC),  a  draft  Bill  entitled
“Civil Services Performance Standards and  Accountability  Bill,  2010”  was
provided  incorporating  certain  recommendations  in  the   above-mentioned
reports.   Further, it was pointed out that the draft Cabinet Note  for  the
introduction of the said Bill in the Parliament is  under  consideration  of
the Central Government.  Further, it was also submitted that for fixing  the
minimum tenures of cadre post  in  the  Indian  Administrative  Service  was
initiated in November, 2006 by  the  Department  of  Personnel  &  Training.
Cadre controlling authorities  of  the  Indian  Police  Service  and  Indian
Foreign Service were also requested to take necessary follow-up  action  for
fixing the minimum tenures in the cadre post for the Indian  Police  Service
and Indian Foreign Service.   During the process  of  consultation,  it  was
pointed out that comments of  the  State  Governments  were  sought  on  the
proposal of fixing minimum tenure of posting  of  IAS  Officers.   13  State
Governments agreed with the proposal, while some States did not agree.   The
matter   was   further   discussed   in   the   meeting   with   the   Chief
Secretary/Principal Secretaries of the States  concerned  on  31.5.2007  and
again on 4.7.2008 in Delhi.    Notification providing for two years  minimum
tenure for IAS posting  having  been  issued  for  13  States/Joint  Cadres.
Reference was also made to study report of  “Centre  for  Good  Governance”,
Hyderabad and it was stated that the same is under  consideration  with  the
Central  Government.   With  regard  to  the   prayer   for   recording   of
instructions/directions, etc., it was pointed out that the requirements  are
provided under the All India Service Conduct Rules.

5.    Learned counsels appearing for the State  Governments  and  the  Union
Territories have also placed their stand on various reliefs  sought  for  in
this writ petition.  Learned Standing counsel appearing  for  the  State  of
Uttar Pradesh  submitted  that  the  State  has  already  established  Civil
Service Boards in terms  of  the  Government  orders  dated  24.12.2001  and
19.5.2007, which is meant to operate with respect  to  IAS  and  Provisional
Civil Services, Indian Police Services and Provisional Police  Services  and
for Indian Forest Services and their feeder services.   Over and above,  the
State  has  also  formulated  transfer  policy  dated  15.5.2008.    Learned
counsel appearing for the State of Maharashtra also made  reference  to  the
Maharashtra Government Servants Regulations of Transfers and  Prevention  of
Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act, 2005 and submitted that  the  Act
provided for transfer of Government servants  and  prevention  of  delay  in
discharge of official duties.
6.    Reliefs prayed for in this  writ  petition  are  based  on  the  Hotta
Committee  Report,  2004,  2nd  Administrative  Reforms   Commission   (10th
Report), 2008. 2nd Administrative  Service  Commission  (15th  Report),  the
Report of the Committee on Prevention  of  Corruption,  Santhanam  Committee
Report, etc.   We have gone through those reports in detail.

7.    The Government of India on 3rd  February,  2004,  appointed  the  Hota
Committee to examine the whole gamut of Civil Service reforms and the  terms
of reference of the Committee were as follows :-
      “(i)  Making the Civil Service
           • responsive and citizen-friendly;
           • transparent;
           • accountable; and
           • ethical
             in its (a) actions and (b) interface with the

      (ii)  Making the civil service e-governance friendly.

      (iii) Putting a premium on intellectual growth of civil  servants  and
            on upgrading their domain knowledge,

      (iv)  Protecting the civil  service  against  wrongful        pressure
           exerted by

           (a)   administrative superiors;
           (b)   political executive;
           (c)   business interests; and
           (d)   other vested interests.

      (v)   Changes, if any necessary, in the  various  All  India  Services
           Rules and Central Civil Rules           to provide  a  statutory
           cover to the proposed          civil service reforms.

      (vi)  Changes in rules governing the disciplinary          proceedings
           against civil servants to          decentralize the  process  as
           far as practicable, and to make the disposal of such proceedings

      (vii)       Any other matter that the Committee may consider  relevant
           to the subject of civil service reforms.”

8.    On establishment of Indian Civil Services Board,  the  Hota  Committee
made the following recommendations :-
      “5.09 We found that some States complied with the  recommendations  of
      the  Conference  of  Chief  Ministers  and  set  up   Civil   Services
      Boards/Establishment Boards with Chief Secretary of the State  as  the
      Chairman and other senior officials of the State as Members.  But  the
      Boards set up by executive order in different States  have  failed  to
      inspire confidence as more often than not, they have merely formalized
      the wishes  of  their  Chief  Ministers  in  matters  of  transfer  of
      officials. We are firmly of the view that a Civil Services Act has  to
      be enacted to make the Civil Services Board / Establishment Board both
      in the States and in the Government of India statutory  in  character.
      In the proposed set up in the Government of  India,  the  Appointments
      Committee of the Cabinet will be the final authority for  transfer  of
      officers under the Central Staffing  Scheme.  The  same  principle  of
      fixed tenure should apply to senior officers, who are  not  under  the
      Central Staffing Scheme, but are working under the Government of India
      for which the Departmental Minister in charge is the  final  authority
      for transfer. The Chief Minister  will  be  the  final  authority  for
      transfer of all Group 'A' officers of State Service and  AIS  officers
      serving in connection with affairs of the State. If a  Chief  Minister
      does not agree with the recommendations of the Civil  Services  Board/
      Establishment Board, he will have to record his reasons in writing. An
      officer transferred before his normal tenure even under orders of  the
      Chief Minister can agitate the matter before a three-member Ombudsman.
      The Chairperson of the Ombudsman will be a retired official of  proven
      honesty and integrity. The other two members can be on part-time basis
      from among serving officers.  In  all  such  premature  transfers  the
      Ombudsman shall send a report to the Governor of the State, who  shall
      cause it to be laid in an Annual Report before the State  Legislature.
      The Ombudsman may also pay damages to the officer  so  transferred  to
      compensate him for dislocation and mental agony  caused  due  to  such
      transfer. We are  conscious  that  we  are  recommending  a  statutory
      barrier to frequent transfer of senior officials but  the  matter  has
      come to such a pass that it  requires  a  statutory  remedy.  We  also
      clarify that the Chief Minister as the highest political executive has
      the final powers to order transfer of an officer before his tenure  is

      5.10 We are also of  the  opinion  that  postings  of  all  Group  'B'
      officers must be done by the Head of the Department in a State and the
      same tenure rule shall be given a statutory backing. We  were  advised
      by some witnesses that only the Chief Minister's orders  for  transfer
      should be taken in case of Group 'A' officers / officers of All  India
      Services and no Minister of a State should have any powers to order  a
      transfer or approve a proposal for transfer of any official either  of
      any State Service or of the All India Service. We agree with the view,
      as in our opinion owing to reasons of political expediency or even due
      to unwholesome reasons, Ministers in States often are not able to make
      proper use  of  the  power  vested  in  them  for  transfer  of  their
      departmental officers. If a Minister has cogent  reasons  to  ask  for
      transfer of an official before he completes his tenure, he  will  move
      the Civil Services Board to be set up under the new Civil Services Act
      and the Civil Services Board, with its views on report of inquiry by a
      designated officer, shall submit the case to the  Chief  Minister  for
      final orders. Thus in a State Government, a  Minister's  proposal  for
      transfer of any officer  of  Group  'A'/Group  'B'  will  be  formally
      decided by the Chief Minister of the State.

      5.11 In our opinion, Civil Services Boards  must  be  set  up  in  all
      States on similar lines as at the Centre. The Central Act should  have
      a provision to enable  the  States  to  adopt  the  law  and  make  it
      applicable in the States, without going through the  long  process  of
      drafting a new law and getting it passed in the Legislature. The Civil
      Services Board in a  State  -  chaired  by  the  Chief  Secretary  and
      comprising senior officers - shall perform the functions  relating  to
      transfer, empanelment, promotion, and deputation of officers performed
      by the Establishment Board of Government of India/Special Committee of
      Secretaries of Government of India, both of which are chaired  by  the
      Cabinet Secretary. Under Article 309 of the  Constitution,  Parliament
      may also enact a Civil Services Act setting up a Civil Services  Board
      for the Union  Government  which  will  perform  the  functions  being
      performed at present by the Establishment Board presided over  by  the
      Cabinet Secretary. The Civil Services  Act  may  also  provide  for  a
      Special Committee  of  Secretaries  to  prepare  panel  of  names  for
      appointment for posts of Additional  Secretaries  and  Secretaries  to
      Government of India. Under the  new  Civil  Services  Act,  a  Cabinet
      Minister/Minister of State with independent charge  in  Government  of
      India may be given a time limit to accept/send back proposals for  the
      Establishment  Board  regarding   posting   of   officers   with   his
      observations. In any particular case, if the Establishment Board after
      giving the views of the Minister in charge  its  utmost  consideration
      does not change its original recommendation, the Cabinet Secretary may
      send proposals of the Establishment Board  with  observations  of  the
      Minister in charge through the Home Minister, a Member of the  ACC  to
      the Prime Minister, who heads the ACC for a final decision.

      5.12 Inter alia, a Civil Services Board of a State shall also  perform
      functions of recommending officers  of  All  India  Service/Group  'A1
      service of the State for transfer to different posts under  the  State
      Government. It would be expedient before an officer is  sought  to  be
      transferred in the public interest  when  he  has  not  completed  his
      tenure, that an administrative inquiry of a summary nature is held  to
      ascertain if the transfer is justified as a matter of  public  policy.
      The administrative inquiry  will  be  conducted  as  expeditiously  as
      possible by a designated  officer  nominated  by  the  Civil  Services
      Board. In appropriate cases, the Civil Services Board may also  direct
      the officer to proceed on leave on full pay and  allowances  till  the
      administrative inquiry is over and a decision is taken  regarding  his
      transfer. The designated  officer  to  conduct  the  inquiry  will  be
      ordinarily  the  Reporting  Officer  of  the  officer  sought  to   be
      transferred. The Civil Services Board on  receipt  of  the  report  of
      inquiry of the designated officer  shall  advise  the  Chief  Minister
      regarding justification for transfer of  the  officer  in  the  public
      interest before his  normal  tenure  is  over.  Ordinarily  the  Chief
      Minister is expected to agree with the recommendations  of  the  Civil
      Services Board as transfer of an official is a routine  administrative
      matter on which a Civil Services Board must have a decisive role.  But
      if the Chief Minister does not agree with the Civil Services Board and
      orders transfer of an official before his tenure is over, he may  have
      to record in writing reasons for such transfer.  If  the  official  is
      transferred before his tenure without adequate justification, he  will
      have the right to approach a three member Civil Service Ombudsman  set
      up for the purpose.

      Recommendation 38:      In the proposed Civil Service law, the highest
      political executive shall continue to be the final authority to  order
      transfer of any officer before his tenure is  over;  but  he  will  be
      expected to give due consideration to  Report  of  the  Administrative
      Inquiry/views of  the  Civil  Service  Board/Establishment  Board  and
      record reasons on the need for premature transfer of an officer. It is
      reiterated that the political executive shall have the final authority
      to transfer an officer at any stage in the public interest. An officer
      aggrieved by order of premature transfer can agitate the matter before
      a three-Member Ombudsman, who  may,  where  suitable,  award  monetary
      compensation  to  the  aggrieved  officer.  The  constitution  of  the
      Ombudsman will be the same as the Ombudsman proposed for the  Disputes
      Redressal  Council   as   at   para   6.19   of   this   Report.   The
      President/Governor shall receive reports from the Ombudsman and  shall
      lay  an  Annual  Report  on  such  transfers  on  the  table  of   the
      Legislature. There should be a suitable provision in the law to enable
      States to adopt it and make it applicable in the States without  going
      through the long process of drafting a law and get it  passed  in  the
      Legislature.                        {para 5.03 to 5.10)”

9.    The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission was set up by the President
reflecting the Resolution dated 31st August, 2005 passed by the  Government
of India.  The Commission was set up  to  suggest  measures  to  achieve  a
preemptive   responsible,   accountable,    sustainable    and    effective
administration for the country at all levels of the government.  The tenure
of the Committee was extended from time to time and the Committee submitted
its report in the year 2008.  On the question of  the  setting  up  of  the
independent CSB, the Committee has made the following recommendations :

      “9.7.1 The Commission suggests that an independent ‘Authority’  should
      deal with matters of  assignment  of  domains,  preparing  panels  for
      posting of officers at the level of SAG and above, fixing tenures  for
      various posts, deciding on posts which could be advertised for lateral
      entry etc. As this Authority would be performing  the  above-mentioned
      crucial tasks, it would be necessary to  ensure  its  independence  by
      giving it a statutory backing and stipulating that it should be headed
      by an eminent person with experience of public affairs to be appointed
      by  the  Prime  Minister  in  consultation  with  the  Leader  of  the
      Opposition in the Lok Sabha. The Authority should  have  a  full  time
      Member-Secretary of the rank of Secretary to Government of India,  and
      persons of eminence in public life and professionals with acknowledged
      contributions to society as Members of the Authority. This  Authority,
      to be named  as  the  Central  Civil  Services  Authority,  should  be
      constituted under the proposed Civil Services Act. As the constitution
      of the Central Civil Services Authority under a new law may take  some
      time,  the  said  Authority  may  be  constituted,  initially,   under
      executive orders.”

10.   Para 9.8.e also refers to  the  composition  of  the  Committee  which
reads as follows :-
      “9.8.e. A Central Civil Services Authority should be constituted under
      the proposed Civil Services Bill. The Central Civil Services Authority
      shall be a five-member body consisting of  the  Chairperson  and  four
      members (including the member-secretary). The Authority should have  a
      full time Member-Secretary of the rank of Secretary to  Government  of
      India. The Chairperson and members of the Authority should be  persons
      of  eminence  in  public  life  and  professionals  with  acknowledged
      contributions to society. The Chairperson and members of the Authority
      shall be appointed by  the  President  on  the  recommendations  of  a
      Committee consisting of the Prime  Minister  and  the  Leader  of  the
      Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

      (Explanation:- Where the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha has
      not been recognized as such, the Leader of the single largest group in
      the Opposition in the Lok Sabha shall be deemed to be  the  Leader  of
      the Opposition).”

11.   The Second Administrative Reforms Commission Fifteenth  Report  (April
2009) has also made various suggestions  in  order  to  provide  legislative
backing to these measures, the Commission has  recommended  enactment  of  a
Civil Services Law which will cover all personnel holding civil posts  under
the Union.   The Commission recommended for the constitution  of  a  Central
Civil Service Authority, among other things, which reads as follows:

      “VIII.  Constitution of the Central Civil Services Authority:

        i. The Central Government shall, by notification  in  the  Official
           Gazette, constitute a body to be  known  as  the  Central  Civil
           Services Authority to exercise the powers conferred on,  and  to
           perform the functions assigned to it, under this Act.

       ii. The Central Civil Services Authority shall be a five-member body
           consisting of the Chairperson and four  members  (including  the
           member-secretary). The Authority should have a full time Member-
           Secretary of the rank of Secretary to Government of  India.  The
           Chairperson and members of the Authority should  be  persons  of
           eminence in public  life  and  professionals  with  acknowledged
           contributions to society. The Chairperson  and  members  of  the
           Authority  shall  be  appointed  by   the   President   on   the
           recommendations of a Committee consisting of the Prime  Minister
           and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

      (Explanation:- Where the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha has
      not been recognized as such, the Leader of the single largest group in
      the opposition in the Lok Sabha shall be deemed to be  the  Leader  of
      the Opposition).
 Subsequently, in its  Report  on  “Refurbishing  of  Personnel
      Administration”  (the  Tenth  Report),  the  Commission  suggested   a
      detailed procedure for placement of officers at the
      middle and top management levels in the Union Government. It calls for
      the constitution of a Central Civil Service Authority  by  law,  which
      will be an independent five  member  body  consisting  of  persons  of
      eminence  in  public  life   and   professionals   with   acknowledged
      contributions to Society. This Authority will  be  empowered  to  deal
      with a large number  of  issues  concerning  civil  services  such  as
      assignment of domain to officers, preparing panels for posting at  the
      levels of  Joint  Secretary  and  above,  fixing  tenures  for  senior
      assignments and such other matters that may be referred to it  by  the
      Union Government. The Commission is of the view that there should be a
      similar Civil Services law and a State Civil  Services  Authority  for
      each State. The mandate and functions of the State Body would  largely
      coincide with those prescribed under the proposed Union Civil Services
      Law. This Authority should deal with issues of appointment and  tenure
      of higher officials of all ranks in the  State  Governments  including
      the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries, Engineer-in-Chiefs and the
      Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. However,  till  the  time  the
      proposed law is enacted and  the  State  Civil  Service  Authority  is
      constituted, recommendations  made  at  para  above  may  be
      immediately adopted by all the State Governments.  Recommendations:

      a)    After enactment of the State Civil Services Law on the lines  of
           the proposed Union enactment, the proposed State  Civil  Service
           Authority should deal with matters  concerning  appointment  and
           tenure of senior officers of all ranks in the State  Governments
           (including the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries, Engineer-
           in-Chiefs, other Agency Heads and Principal Chief Conservator of

      b)    Till the  time  that  such  an  Authority  is  constituted,  the
           following mechanism may be adopted for appointment of the  Chief
           Secretary and Principal Conservator of Forests in the States:-

             There should be a collegiums to recommend a panel of names to
                 the Chief Minister/Cabinet for these  two  posts.  For  the
                 post of Chief Secretary, this collegium may consist of  (a)
                 a Minister nominated by the Chief Minister, (b) the  Leader
                 of the Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly and (c)
                 the incumbent Chief Secretary. For  the  selection  to  the
                 post  of  Principal  Chief  Conservator  of   Forests   the
                 collegiums may consist of (a)  The  Minister  In-charge  of
                 Forests,  (b)  the  leader  of  Opposition  in  the   State
                 Legislative Assembly and (c) the Chief Secretary.

                There should be a fixed tenure of atleast  two  years  for
                 both these posts.

                 The  selection  for  the  post  of  Chief  Secretary  and
                 Principal Chief Conservator of Forests should be widened to
                 include all officers above a specified seniority  (e.g.  30
                 years).  All  officers  with  a  eniority  higher  than   a
                 prescribed limit should be eligible to be  a  part  of  the

      c)    As regards the appointment and tenure of the Director General of
           Police, the recommendations made by the Commission in its Report
           on “Public Order” at para should be implemented.”

12.   We have elaborately referred to the  Report  of  the  Hota  Committee,
Report of the 2nd Administrative Commission,  2008-2009,  which  highlighted
the necessity of creation of an independent CSB at the  Centre  as  well  as
the State level.


13.    Various  Committees  have  also  recommended  and   highlighted   the
necessity of providing fixed tenure for a civil  servant  so  as  to  ensure
stability and efficiency of administration.  The  Central  Staffing  Scheme,
1996, highlighted the necessity of a fixed tenure to provide certain  degree
of stability to the administration. Reference in this regard may be made  to
paras 17.01, 17.02, 17.03, 17.12  and  17.13  and  the  same  are  extracted
hereinbelow for easy reference :

      “17.01 The fixed tenure of deputation of  posting  under  the  Central
      Government is the heart  of  the  Central  Staffing  Scheme.  Rotation
      between the Centre and  the  States,  Central  Ministries  and  parent
      cadres, and headquarters and the field, provide a  certain  degree  of
      pragmatism to policy formulation and programme implementation from the
      Central Ministries. Based on the experience gained so far, the periods
      of tenure at the different levels have been prescribed as under:-

      i     Under Secretary 3 years

      ii    Deputy Secretary 4 years

      iii. Director 5 years

       iv. Joint Secretary 5 years

      17.02 An officer holding the post of Joint  Secretary  or  equivalent,
      when appointed to a post under the Government of India at the level of
      Additional Secretary, would have a tenure of 3 years from the date  of
      appointment as Additional Secretary subject to a minimum  of  5  years
      and maximum of 7 years of combined tenure as Joint Secretary.
      Additional Secretary. Where an officer remains on leave  (either  from
      the Centre or from his Cadre authority or both) on the expiry  of  his
      tenure  as  Joint  Secretary  till  his  appointment   as   Additional
      Secretary, the leave period shall be  counted  as  tenure  deputation.
      Additional Secretary 4 years,  except  for  cases  covered  under  the
      previous heading.

      Secretary No fixed tenure.

      17.03 Every officer shall revert at the end of his tenure as indicated
      above on the exact  date  of  his  completing  his  tenure.  He  will,
      however, have a choice to revert to his cadre on the 31st May previous
      to the date of the end of his tenure in case personal grounds such  as
      children's education etc., necessitate such  reversion.  No  extension
      after completion of the full tenure would be allowed.

      17.12 (a) Officers of the Indian Foreign Service  appointed  to  posts
      under the Central Staffing Scheme would have a tenure of three years.

      (b) They shall not normally be relieved, except with the  approval  of
      the appointments Committee of the  Cabinet  from  a  Central  Staffing
      Scheme post before their tenure.

      17.13   No lateral shifts of officers  from  one  Ministry/I)eptt.  to
      another will normally be considered. However, in the case  of  Private
      Secretary to Ministers the policy followed would be :-
      (a) The redeployment of a Private Secretary in the same
      Ministry/Department as Deputy Secretary or Director is discouraged.

      (b)   The Private Secretary (to Minister) who has been empanelled  for
      holding post of Joint Secretary at  the  Centre  should  also  not  be
      considered for relocation in the same Ministry/Deptt. and the  officer
      should be posted to some other Ministry/Deptt.”

14.   The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (10th  Report)  also  speaks
of the same in paras 8.5.11, 8.5.12, 8.5.14, 8.7 (e)-  (g),  9.8(e)-(g)  and
17.5(VIII) and the same are extracted hereinbelow for easy reference :

      “8.5.11.  There appears to be unanimity  on  the  point  that  it  is
      necessary to give a fixed tenure to a civil servant in his/her  post.
      In fact, the Draft Public  Services  Bill,  2007  has  stipulated  in
      Clause 16(e) that

           “The Central Government shall fix a  minimum  tenure  for  cadre
           posts, which may be filled on the basis  of  merit,  suitability
           and experience.”

      8.5.12  In  Clause  22,  the  Bill  enjoins  the   Cadre   Controlling
      Authorities to

           “notify within a period of six months from the coming into force
           of this Act, norms and guidelines for transfers and postings  to
           maintain continuity and predictability in career advancement and
           acquisition of necessary  skills  and  experiences  as  well  as
           promotion of good governance.  Transfers  before  the  specified
           tenure should be for valid reasons to be  recorded  in  writing.
           Provided that the normal tenure of all public servants shall not
           be less than two years.”

      8.5.14 The Commission is of the view that the Central  Civil  Services
      Authority (discussed in detail in Chapter 9) should  be  charged  with
      the responsibility of fixing the tenure for all  civil  service  posts
      under the Union Government. At present, the functions of the Authority
      are envisaged as advisory under the provisions  of  the  Draft  Public
      Services Bill, 2007. This needs to be  changed,  and  so  far  as  the
      fixation of tenure is concerned, it is suggested that the decision  of
      the Authority should be  binding  on  the  Government.  The  Authority
      should also be given the responsibility to monitor postings and  place
      before Parliament a periodic evaluation of the actual  average  tenure
      for each post and for the Central Government as a whole. Establishment
      of State  Civil  Service  Authorities  for  the  States  with  similar
      responsibilities  needs  to  be  urgently  taken  up  by   the   State
      Governments where tenures are much less stable.  The  details  of  the
      State Civil Services Authorities would be examined by  the  Commission
      in its Report on ‘State Administration’.

      8.7 (e) – (g) Placement at Middle Management Level


      e.    The Central Civil Services Authority should be charged with  the
           responsibility of fixing tenure for all civil service  positions
           and  this  decision  of  the  Authority  should  be  binding  on

      f.    Officers from the organized services should not be  given  ‘non-
           field’ assignments in the first 8-10 years of their career.

      g.    State Governments should take steps to  constitute  State  Civil
           Services Authorities on the lines of the Central Civil  Services

      9.8 (e) – (g) Placement at Top Management Level


      e. A Central Civil Services Authority should be constituted under  the
      proposed Civil Services Bill. The  Central  Civil  Services  Authority
      shall be a five-member body consisting of  the  Chairperson  and  four
      members (including the member-secretary). The Authority should have  a
      full time Member-Secretary of the rank of Secretary to  Government  of
      India. The Chairperson and members of the Authority should be  persons
      of  eminence  in  public  life  and  professionals  with  acknowledged
      contributions to society. The Chairperson and members of the Authority
      shall be appointed by  the  President  on  the  recommendations  of  a
      Committee consisting of the Prime  Minister  and  the  Leader  of  the
      Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

      (Explanation:- Where the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha has
      not been recognized as such, the Leader of the single largest group in
      the Opposition in the Lok Sabha shall be deemed to be  the  Leader  of
      the Opposition).
      f.  The Central Civil Services Authority should deal with  matters  of
      assignment of domains to officers, preparing  panels  for  posting  of
      officers at the level of Joint Secretary and above, fixing tenures for
      senior posts, deciding on posts which could be advertised for  lateral
      entry and such other matters  that  may  be  referred  to  it  by  the

      g. A similar procedure should be adopted for filling up  vacancies  at
      SAG level and higher in the central police agencies. For  example,  in
      the Central Para-Military Forces the senior positions should be opened
      to competition from officers of the CPMFs, IPS and  the  Armed  Forces
      (including  those  completing  their   Short   Service   Commissions).
      Similarly for the intelligence agencies officers from the armed forces
      as well as the CPOs with  experience  in  the  field  of  intelligence
      should be considered for postings at higher levels in the intelligence

      17.5   Recommendations

      “A new Civil Services Bill  may  be  drafted.  The  following  salient
      features may be included in the proposed Bill.


      VIII. Fixation of Tenures : All senior posts should have  a  specified
      tenure.  The task of fixing tenures for  various  posts  may  also  be
      assigned  to  this  independent  agency    Central   Civil   Services

15.   The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission  (15th  Report),  2009  also
speaks of the same in paras and and the  same  is  extracted
below for ready reference:-
      “  In order to provide legislative backing to  these  measures,
      the Commission has recommended enactment of a Civil Services Law which
      will cover all personnel holding civil  posts  under  the  Union.   As
      recommended at paragraph 17.5 of this Report, the proposed law has the
      following salient features :


      V. Fixation of Tenure.  All  senior  psots  should  have  a  specified
      tenure.  The task of fixing tenures for  various  posts  may  also  be
      assigned  to  this  independent  agency    Central   Civil   Services


      IX.   Functions of the Central Civil Services Authority.  The  Central
      Authority shall discharge the following functions :


      vi.   Fix the tenure for posts at the  ‘Senior  Management  Level’  in
      Government of India. For appointments to the posts of the Chief Secretary  and  the
      Principal Conservator  of  Forest,  the  Commission  communicated  the
      following interim suggestions to the Government in December 2007:-

      i)    There should be a collegium to recommend a panel of names to the
      Chief Minister/ Cabinet for these two posts. For  the  post  of  Chief
      Secretary, this collegiums may consist of

       a) a Minister nominated by the Chief Minister,

       b) the Leader of the Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly and

      (c)        the incumbent Chief Secretary. For the  selection  to  the
           post of Principal Chief Conservator of  Forests  the  collegiums
           may consist of

           a) The Minister In-charge of Forests,

           (b) the leader of Opposition in the State Legislative
                Assembly and

           (c) the Chief Secretary.

      ii)   There should be a fixed tenure of two years for both these

      iii)  The selection for the post  of  Chief  Secretary  and  Principal
      Chief Conservator of Forests should be widened to include all officers
      above a  specified  seniority  (e.g.  30  years).  All  officers  with
      seniority higher than a prescribed limit should be eligible  to  be  a
      part of the panel.”

16.   The Hota Committee Report, 2004 also highlights the same as its  main
Recommendation No.39 which reads as follows :-
      “(39).         The proposed comprehensive law on  the  Civil  Services
      shall incorporate, inter alia,  a  Code  of  Ethics  and  a  statutory
      minimum tenure in a post to an officer.  Under the proposed law, if an
      officer is sought to be transferred before his tenure, there would  be
      an expeditious administrative inquiry by a designated  senior  officer
      to be earmarked for this purpose. This can be dispensed  with  if  the
      transfer is on promotion/deputation/foreign training.   In  all  other
      cases, the Report of Inquiry with  the  views  of  the  Civil  Service
      Board/Establishment Board would be put up to  the  Chief  Minister  if
      officer of the All India Services Service/other civil services work in
      the States, or the  Appointments  Committee  of  the  Cabinet  if  the
      officers work under the Central Staffing Scheme.   For the officers of
      the other Central Services working in Ministries/Departments  but  not
      under the Central Staffing Scheme, the new law will  prescribe  tenure
      with a provision for  administrative  inquiry  before  an  officer  is
      sought to be transferred except on specified grounds.”

17.   Petitioners have highlighted the serious predicant on which the  civil
servants  are  placed  when  they  are  asked  to   implement   governmental
decisions, on oral directions, suggestions, instructions etc.  Much  of  the
deterioration of the standards of probity and accountability,  according  to
the Petitioners, can be traced to practice of issuing and acting  on  verbal
instructions or  oral  orders  which  are  not  recorded.   This  issue  was
addressed by the Santhanam Committee way back in 1962.  Paragraphs 6.20  and
6.21 deal with those aspects, which are given below for easy reference :
      “6.20.  We have already mentioned the existence of   ‘contactmen’  and
      ‘touts’.  Obviously these do not include  genuine  representatives  of
      commercial and industrial firms.  In this regard  our  recommendations
      are :-

        i) No official should have any dealings with a person  claiming  to
           act  on  behalf  of  a  business  or  industrial  house  or   an
           individual, unless he is properly accredited, and is approved by
           the Department, etc. concerned.  Such a procedure will keep  out
           persons with unsavoury antecedents or reputation. There  should,
           of course, be no restriction on the proprietor or  manager  etc.
           of  the  firm  or  the   applicant   himself   approaching   the

       ii) Even the accredited representatives should not be allowed to see
           officers below a specified level – the level being specified  in
           each organization after taking into consideration the  functions
           of the organizations, the volume and nature of the  work  to  be
           attended to, and the structure of  the  organization.   However,
           care should be taken to limit permissible contacts to levels  at
           which the chances of corruption are considered to be small. This
           would often mean that no contact would be permitted at the level
           of subordinate officers.

      iii) There should be some system of keeping some sort  of  record  of
           all interviews granted to accredited representatives.

       iv) There should be a  fairly  senior  officer  designated  in  each
           Department to which an applicant etc., may go  if  his  case  is
           being unreasonably delayed.

      It  is  necessary  that  a  proper  procedure  should  be  devised  in
      consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission for accrediting and
      approval by the department.  Before granting approval the  antecedents
      of the person proposed  to  be  accredited  should,  if  possible,  be
      verified. In any case no person who is not definitely employed  by  an
      established undertaking who will be responsible for  his  contact  and
      actions should be approved.

      6.21.  It is also desirable  that  officers  belonging  to  prescribed
      categories who have to deal with these representatives should maintain
      a regular diary of all interviews and discussions with the  registered
      representatives whether it takes place in the office or at  home.  The
      general practice should be that  such  interviews  should  be  in  the
      office and if it takes place at home, reasons should be recorded.  Any
      business or discussion which is not so recorded should be deemed to be
      irregular conduct, of which serious notice  should  be  taken  by  the

18.   Further, we also notice the All India Services (Conduct) Rules,  1968,
which also states that  the  directions  of  the  officials  superior  shall
ordinarily be in writing.  Rule 3(3) of the above-mentioned Rules  reads  as
follows :-

      3(3) (i) No member of the Service shall, in  the  performance  of  his
      official duties, or in the exercise of powers conferred  on  him,  act
      than in his own best judgment to be true and correct except when he is
      acting under the direction of his official superior.

      (ii) The direction of the official superior  shall  ordinarily  be  in
      writing. Where the issue of oral direction  becomes  unavoidable,  the
      official superior shall confirm it in writing immediately thereafter.

      (iii) A member of the Service who has received oral direction from his
      official superior shall seek confirmation of the same in  writing,  as
      early as possible and in such case,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the
      official superior to confirm the direction in writing.

      Explanation I– A member of the Service who habitually fails to perform
      a task assigned to him within the time set for the  purpose  and  with
      the quality of performance expected of  him  shall  be  deemed  to  be
      lacking in devotion to duty within the meaning of the sub-rule (1);

      Explanation II – Nothing in  clause  (i)  of  sub-rule  (3)  shall  be
      construed  as  empowering  a   Government   servant   to   evade   his
      responsibilities by  seeking  instructions  from  or  approval  of,  a
      superior officer or authority when such instructions are not necessary
      under the scheme of distribution of powers and responsibilities.”

19.   We, in this respect, point out that the  response  of  certain  States
and Union Territories in the matter  of  creation  of  an  independent  CSB,
fixed tenure of civil servants and  recording  of  directions,  are  neither
consistent nor positive. But generally, they have  welcomed  the  suggestion
for fixation of tenure subject to the  rider  that  in  certain  exceptional
circumstances, the State Governments should have the  power  to  transfer  a
person prematurely  before  completion  of  the  tenure.   Few  States  have
welcomed the suggestion that every  Civil  Servant  should  record  all  the
instructions and directions received.

20.   Union  and  the  State  Governments  apprehend  that  creation  of  an
independent CSB or institutional arrangement for  regulating  transfers  and
postings of officers would be an intrusion into the  executive  function  of
the Centre and State Governments headed by  the  political  executives,  who
are directly responsible to the people.  Further, they have also taken up  a
stand that the said arrangement would  lead  to  a  dual  line  of  control,
creating complexities in managing  administrative  functions  and  affecting
efficiency  of  civil  servants.   With  regard  to  frequent  transfers  of
officers, they have taken up the stand that there is  already  a  clear  cut
policy that except in cases of  promotion,  in  the  interest  of  work  and
administrative reasons,  transfer  and  posting  will  be  done  only  after
completion of three years of tenure.  Few States have issued directions,  to
get written directions in case of oral directions of  Superior  Officers  in
line with Rule 3(3)(ii)-(iii) of All India Services (Conduct)  Rules,  1968.

21.   Chapter XIV of the Constitution of India  deals  with  services  under
the Union and the States.   Article  309  deals  with  the  recruitment  and
conditions of service of persons serving  the  Union  or  the  State,  which
expressly made subject to the other provision of the Constitution of  India,
In terms of Article 309 appropriate Legislature,  Parliament  or  the  State
Legislature is empowered to  legislate,  to  regulate  the  recruitment  and
conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and post  them
in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State.   In  terms  of
the proviso to Article 309, number of rules have  been  made  from  time  to
time by the Union and the State Governments and  they  govern  and  regulate
the public services in India.  Article 310 of the Constitution provides  for
all members of the civil services of the Union and All India Services to  be
held in civil post at the pleasure of the President and all members  of  the
civil services of the State at the pleasure of the Governor  of  the  State.
Article 311 provides certain  safeguards  regarding  dismissal,  removal  or
reduction in rank of  persons  employed  in  civil  capacity.   Article  312
provides constitution of All India Services.  Articles 318 to 333 deal  with
the  Union  Public  Service  Commission  (UPSC)  and  State  Public  Service
Commissions (PSC).  Article 320 stipulates that it shall be the duty of  the
Union and the State PSCs to conduct the examinations for appointment to  the
services of the Union and services of the State, respectively.

22.   UPSC or the State PSCs are to be consulted in all matters relating  to
the method of recruitment to civil services and  on  the  principles  to  be
followed in making appointments to civil services and posts  and  in  making
promotions and transfers from one service to another.  Of  late,  the  UPSCs
and PSCs are being denuded of their  powers  of  consultation  while  making
promotions and transfer from one service to another.  Article 323 lays  down
that it shall be the duty of the UPSC to present annually to  the  President
a report of the work done by the Commission and on receipt  of  such  report
the President shall cause a  copy  thereof  together  with  the  memorandum,
explaining as regard the cases, if any, where advice of the  Commission  was
not accepted, the reasons for such non-acceptance, to  be  laid  before  the
House of Parliament.  Similar provision also  exists  for  the  State  PSCs.
Article 323A  authorizes  Parliament  to  set  up  administrative  tribunals
regarding disputes with regard to recruitment  and  conditions  of  service,
appointed to public services.  Parliament in exercise of  its  powers  under
Article 309 enacted the All India Service Act, 1951, which authorizes  Union
Government in consultation with the State Governments,  to  make  rules  for
the regulations of conditions of service of persons appointed to  All  India

23.   Part V of the Constitution deals with the Union.   Article  53  states
that the executive power of the Union shall be vested in the  President  and
shall be exercised by him either directly or  through  officers  subordinate
to him in accordance with this Constitution.  Article  154 of Chapter VI  of
the Constitution states that the executive  power  of  the  State  shall  be
vested with the Governor and shall be exercisable by him either directly  or
through officers subordinate to him in  accordance  with  the  Constitution.
Article 73 of the Constitution states that subject to the provisions of  the
Constitution executive power of the  Union  shall  extend  to  matters  with
respect to which Parliament has power to make laws and to  the  exercise  of
such rights, authority and jurisdiction, as exercisable  by  the  Government
of India by virtue of any treaty or  any  agreement.   Article  163  of  the
Constitution states that there shall be a Council of  Ministers,  the  Chief
Minister as the head to aid and advice  the  Governor  in  exercise  of  his
functions, except in so far as he is by or under this Constitution  required
to exercise his functions or any of them with his discretion.

24.   The above are the constitutional provisions which generally deal  with
the power  of  the  executive.   The  principles  governing  the  roles  and
responsibilities of political executive and civil servants,  are  therefore,
constitutionally defined and also  based  on  the  basis  of  various  rules
framed by the President and Governor for the  conduct  of  business  in  the
Government.  Ministers are responsible to the people in a democracy  because
they are the elected representatives  of  the  Parliament  as  well  as  the
General State Assembly.  Civil servants have to be  accountable,  of  course
to  their  political  executive  but  they  have  to  function   under   the
Constitution, consequently they are also accountable to the people  of  this

25.   Paragraph 15.1.3 of the  report  of  the  2nd  Administrative  Reforms
Committee (2008) reads as follows:
        “A  healthy  working  relationship  between  Ministers  and   civil
        servants is critical for good  governance.   While  the  principles
        governing the roles and responsibilities  of  Ministers  and  civil
        servants are well  defined  in  political  theory,  in  the  actual
        working  of  this  relationship  this  division  of  responsibility
        becomes blurred with both sides often encroaching upon the  other’s
        sphere  of  responsibility.   In  any  democracy,   Ministers   are
        responsible to the people  through  Parliament  and  therefore  the
        civil servants have to be accountable to the Minister.  However, an
        impartial civil service is responsible not only to  the  government
        of the day but to the Constitution of the land to which  they  have
        taken an oath of loyalty.   At  the  same  time,  implementing  the
        policies of the duly elected government is a core function of civil
        servants.  That is why the division of responsibility  between  the
        civil servants and ministers needs to be more clearly  defined.   A
        framework  in  which  responsibility  and  accountability  is  well
        defined would be useful.”

26.   Civil servants, as already indicated, have to function  in  accordance
with the Constitution and the laws made by the Parliament.  In  the  present
political scenario, the role of civil servants has become very  complex  and
onerous.  Often they have to take decisions which  will  have  far  reaching
consequences in the economic  and  technological  fields.   Their  decisions
must be transparent and must be in public interest.  They  should  be  fully
accountable to the community they serve.  Many of the  recommendations  made
by the Hota Committee, various reports of  the  2nd  Administrative  Reforms
Commission, 2008 and Santhanam Committee Report  have  high-lighted  various
lacunae in the present system which  calls  for  serious  attention  by  the
political executive as well as the law makers.

27.   We find it,  however,  difficult  to  give  a  positive  direction  to
constitute an independent  CSB  at  the  Centre  and  State  Level,  without
executive control, which Hota Committee has recommended to be  statutory  in
nature, that  too,  comprising  of  persons  from  outside  the  Government.
Petitioners placed considerable reliance on the judgment of  this  Court  in
Prakash Singh and Others v. Union of India (2006) 8 SCC  1  and  urged  that
similar directions be given to insulate, to at least some extent, the  civil
servants   from   political/executive   interference.     Retired   persons,
howsoever eminent they may be, shall not guide the transfers  and  postings,
disciplinary action, suspension,  reinstatement,  etc.  of  civil  servants,
unless supported by law enacted by the Parliament or the State  Legislature.

28.   CSB, consisting of high ranking in service officers, who  are  experts
in their respective fields, with the Cabinet Secretary  at  the  Centre  and
Chief Secretary at the State level, could be a better alternative (till  the
Parliament enacts a law), to guide and advise the State  Government  on  all
service matters, especially on transfers, postings and disciplinary  action,
etc.,  though  their  views  also  could  be  overruled,  by  the  political
executive, but by recording reasons, which  would  ensure  good  governance,
transparency and accountability in governmental functions.   Parliament  can
also under Article 309 of  the  Constitution  enact  a  Civil  Service  Act,
setting up a CSB,  which  can  guide  and  advice  the  political  executive
transfer and postings, disciplinary action, etc.  CSB consisting of  experts
in various fields  like  administration,  management,  science,  technology,
could  bring  in  more  professionalism,   expertise   and   efficiency   in
governmental functioning.

29.   We, therefore, direct the Centre,  State  Governments  and  the  Union
Territories to constitute such Boards with high  ranking  serving  officers,
who are specialists in their respective fields, within  a  period  of  three
months, if not already constituted, till the Parliament brings in  a  proper
legislation in setting up CSB.

30.   We notice, at present the civil servants are not having  stability  of
tenure, particularly in the State Governments where transfers  and  postings
are made frequently, at the whims and fancies  of  the  executive  head  for
political  and  other  considerations  and  not  in  public  interest.   The
necessity of minimum tenure has been endorsed and implemented by  the  Union
Government.  In  fact,  we  notice,  almost  13  States  have  accepted  the
necessity of a minimum tenure for  civil  servants.   Fixed  minimum  tenure
would not only enable the  civil  servants  to  achieve  their  professional
targets, but also help them to function as effective instruments  of  public
policy. Repeated shuffling/transfer of the officers is deleterious  to  good
governance.   Minimum  assured  service  tenure  ensures  efficient  service
delivery and also increased efficiency.  They can  also  prioritize  various
social and  economic  measures  intended  to  implement  for  the  poor  and
marginalized sections of the society.

31.    We,  therefore,  direct  the  Union  State  Governments   and   Union
Territories to issue appropriate directions to secure providing  of  minimum
tenure of service to various  civil  servants,  within  a  period  of  three

32.   We have extensively  referred  to  the  recommendations  of  the  Hota
Committee, 2004 and  Santhanam  Committee  Report  and  those  reports  have
highlighted the  necessity  of  recording  instructions  and  directions  by
public servants.  We notice that much of the deterioration of the  standards
of probity and  accountability  with  the  civil  servants  is  due  to  the
political influence or persons purporting to  represent  those  who  are  in
authority.  Santhanam  Committee  on  Prevention  of  Corruption,  1962  has
recommended that there should be a system of keeping some  sort  of  records
in  such  situations.   Rule  3(3)(iii)  of  the  All  India  Service  Rules
specifically  requires  that  all  orders  from  superior   officers   shall
ordinarily be in writing.  Where in exceptional  circumstances,  action  has
to be taken on the basis  of  oral  directions,  it  is  mandatory  for  the
officer superior to confirm the same in writing.    The  civil  servant,  in
turn, who has received such information, is required  to  seek  confirmation
of the directions in writing as early as possible and it is the duty of  the
officer superior to confirm the direction in writing.

33.   We are of the view that the civil  servants  cannot  function  on  the
basis of verbal or oral instructions, orders, suggestions,  proposals,  etc.
and they must also be protected  against  wrongful  and  arbitrary  pressure
exerted by the administrative superiors, political executive,  business  and
other vested interests.   Further, civil servants shall also  not  have  any
vested interests.  Resultantly, there must be some  records  to  demonstrate
how the civil servant has acted, if the decision is not his, but  if  he  is
acting  on  the  oral  directions,  instructions,  he  should  record   such
directions in the file.   If the civil servant is acting on oral  directions
or dictation of anybody, he will be taking a risk, because he  cannot  later
take up the stand, the decision was in  fact  not  his  own.   Recording  of
instructions,   directions   is,    therefore,    necessary    for    fixing
responsibility  and  ensure  accountability  in  the  functioning  of  civil
servants and to uphold institutional integrity.
RTI Act and Civil Servants

34.    Democracy  requires  an  informed  citizenry  and   transparency   of
information.  Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) recognizes the  right
of the citizen to secure access to information under the control  of  public
authority, in order  to  promote  transparency  and  accountability  in  the
working of every public authority.   Section 3 of the Act confers  right  to
information to all citizens and a corresponding obligation under  Section  4
on every public authority to maintain the records so  that  the  information
sought for can be provided.  Oral and verbal instructions, if not  recorded,
could not be provided.  By acting on  oral  directions,  not  recording  the
same, the rights guaranteed to the citizens under the Right  to  Information
Act, could be defeated. The practice of giving oral  directions/instructions
by the administrative superiors, political executive etc. would  defeat  the
object and purpose of RTI  Act  and  would  give  room  for  favoritism  and

35.   We, therefore, direct all the State Governments and Union  Territories
to issue directions like Rule 3(3)  of  the  All  India  Services  (Conduct)
Rules, 1968, in their respective States and Union Territories which will  be
carried out within three months from today.

36.   The Writ Petitions  are,  accordingly,  disposed  of  with  the  above

                                                  (K.S. Radhakrishnan)

                                   (Pinaki Chandra Ghose)
New Delhi,
October 31, 2013.

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