oppn parties Action Under Fundamental Rule 56-J Must Be Taken In All Government Departments

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
oppn parties
Action Under Fundamental Rule 56-J Must Be Taken In All Government Departments

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The Centre has, till now, dismissed (the polite term is compulsorily retired) more than 60 Income Tax officers from service using the Fundamental Rule 56-J. These include officers of the rank of principal commissioner joint commissioner, assistant and deputy assistant commissioner. The government was getting feedback that corrupt and inflexible officers were harassing the taxpayers. The buzz of corruption in respect of several senior officers was very strong. There were charges of inefficiency and worse against others.

Punitive action against government officers is a tricky thing. It can lead to dissension and court cases. In the present case, some of the dismissed officers had approached the courts for relief but did not get any. This was because the Supreme Court has been very strict in this regard and has held that the Rule 56-J is in consonance with the constitution. The government has the right to dismiss its Group A, B and C employees under Fundamental Rule 56-J read with Rule 48(1) of the Pension Rules, 1972 if they have either completed 30 years of service or had joined before the age of 35 and have reached the age of 50 (55 in some cases) if their performance is not considered up to the mark.

These rules exist for a long time. But the lack of political will in enforcing them and a chalta hai attitude of previous governments had allowed corrupt officers to make hay. There have been instances where such officers have themselves suggested the loopholes to the taxpayers to get relief of enormous sums of money after their palms were suitably greased. Then, some unscrupulous officers used to threaten taxpayers of action if they were not paid off. But now that action is being taken regularly, the message is likely to percolate down the ranks that corruption and inefficiency will not be tolerated.

While it is good that the government is moving against such officers, why are other departments not being targeted? There are corrupt officers in almost every government department. The action under Fundamental Rule 56-J should be applied in all departments to weed out the corrupt and inefficient officers since they are dirtying the whole pond and not allowing others to work ethically. They are also passing orders that are saddling departments with unnecessary litigation and increasing the workload and also clogging the judicial system.  The sooner the system is rid of these officers, the better it will be for the governance of the nation. The best thing would be that the action would put the fear of law in the rest and the level of corruption will fall drastically. The states should also take the cue and initiate action in their departments under the relevant rules applicable to their employees. 

pic courtesy: starsunfolded.com