NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha Secretariat has received at least 29 complaints from Members of Parliament against IAS officers for breach of protocol and code of conduct in the last two years. The complaints range from the MPs claiming they were not invited for an event involving a centrally-sponsored scheme, non-observance of proper conduct, defamation, not providing a personal assistant, not replying to their letters and not returning phone calls made to the bureaucrats.
All the complaints were received between April 2018 and February 2020. While the complaints have been made by MPs of all political hues, the maximum were from BJP lawmakers, 19. Santosh Pandey, a BJP MP from Chhattisgarh, complained against Rajnandgaon district collector Jaiprakash Maurya for non-invitation in development programmes undertaken in his constituency and causing obstruction in the discharge of his parliamentary duties.
Heena Gavit, a BJP lawmaker from Maharashtra, also complained against the Nandurbar district collector for not inviting her to a centrally-sponsored programme. Ashok Kumar Rawat, a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, complained against Sitapur district magistrate Akhilesh Tiwari in December 2019 for not responding to his phone calls and not supplying required information. There are a few MPs who have made more than one complaint against IAS officers.
Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MP Hanuman Beniwal, who recently made news for his remarks against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha, has complained thrice. In one complaint, he has accused a special secretary in the Rajasthan Chief Minister’s office of not replying to his letters. Another complaint says he was not provided a personal assistant. There is a set of protocol that bureaucrats have to follow while dealing with MPs.
The department of personnel and training keeps sending reminders about this code of conduct. The guidelines say any communication received from an MP should be attended to promptly and government servants should show courtesy and consideration to them. “While corresponding with MPs, it should be ensured that the letter is legible. Pie-printed or cyclostyled replies should be scrupulously avoided,” the guideline states
What the protocol says
Protocol says that an officer should be meticulously correct and courteous and rise to receive and see off an MP who visits them.