NEW DELHI: Defence and home secretaries, as well as the director of Intelligence Bureau and the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) chief, can now be given extensions of up to two years, as the Centre has just issued a gazette notification amending the Fundamental Rules of all services.
The Fundamental Rules, 1992, are an overarching set of rules that apply to all civilian government servants. They cover the entire gamut of their in-service and post-retirement working scenarios.
Officials said the gazette notification was needed to bring the rulebook in line with the two ordinances promulgated on Sunday to give the heads of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) service extension up to three years beyond their fixed tenure of two years, one year at a time.
At present, civil servants have a fixed tenure of two years in these posts, and their appointments are governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.
Through the ordinance, the government amended the DSPE Act and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act so as to extend the service of the ED and CBI chiefs up to five years.
Monday’s notification implies that if the government wants, it can extend the tenure of other senior officers — defense secretary, home secretary, IB director and RAW secretary — up to four years. “This notification was necessary to clear the path for all such extensions as the Fundamental Rules are overarching,” a senior government functionary said.
The official said the objective of the ordinance as well as the notification is the same — to ensure that important policy decisions and investigations get adequate time.
“It takes several months for the incumbent to just understand the organisation and next year it is time to go. So, it is in the interest of these institutions that the government has paved the way for longer tenures of these important officials.”
Interestingly, the current home secretary as also the heads of IB and RAW are all on one-year extension after completing their two-year fixed terms.
Trinamool moves notice in Rajya Sabha
The Opposition kept up its attack on the ordinances, claiming they were aimed at “misusing the agencies”. The Trinamool moved a notice for statutory resolutions in the Rajya Sabha against the ordinances.