Amendments to AIS (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 under consideration
In a reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has informed that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is in the process of affecting amendments to AIS (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 to provide more safeguards for IAS, IPS and other officers which would subsequently be placed before the Cabinet for approval. In the reply provided to Sanjay Sharma, the PMO has indicated that the action was taken in the backdrop of the letter written by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The said letter was regarding the suspension of Noida SDM Durga Nagpal, a 2010 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, which was widely reported by the media.
The government is likely to consider changes in All India Service rules with the objective of bringing in more safeguards for civil servants. However, the PMO declined to provide the details claiming that since the issue pertains to the Cabinet, it is exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(i) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers: Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over: Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed; of the RTI Act.
Earlier, the IAS Officers’ Association had suggested changes in disciplinary rules. The association had demanded prior sanction of the Centre before any officer of the service is suspended by a state government. The association had demanded that a mandatory show cause notice should be served to an officer to seek explanation before suspension. The DoPT acts as nodal body for administrative matters related to Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The proposed changes in rules are is likely to be effective only for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS).