NEW DELHI: Power and sycophancy go hand in hand, and where better to find the fruits of the union than in transfers and postings? Aware of the nexus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shaken the tree by issuing an order to punish bureaucrats attempting to politically influence transfer, postings and other service matters in the Central ministries and departments.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had received complaints about at least two senior bureaucrats influencing desired postings through an MP. Similarly, several complaints regarding influence-peddling in the transfer of senior Income Tax officers had reached the PMO.
The PMO communiqué to all the ministries and departments invoked Rule 20 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964. “Such submission of representations directly to other authorities bypassing the prescribed channel of communication has to be viewed seriously and appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against those who violate instructions,” it said.
The PMO said bringing VIP reference in the service matter can rightly be treated as an unbecoming conduct attracting the provisions in the service rules. “We had received some MPs’ reference in May and June. The concerned I-T officials were warned against such practice through an internal communication to avoid bringing VIPs to influence the service matters,” said a senior official.
The PMO has said that bringing VIP reference in the service matter can rightly be treated as an unbecoming conduct. “In August last year, another case had come to our notice and officials were sensitised about it,” a senior government official said. The Prime Minister’s Office said some government servants are also representing directly to the prime minister, ministers and other higher authorities directly, which is a clear violation of rules. “No government servant shall bring or attempt to bring any political or other outside influence to bear upon any superior authority to further his interest in respect of matters pertaining to his service under the government,” it said.
In the last two years, the government sent back 62 IAS officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above to their parent cadre. Such a decision was taken due to a variety of reasons, including personal grounds, availing promotion in their respective cadres and on the request of States.