India Against Corruption
CAN IAS OFFICERS FUNCTION LIKE REBELS
Of late, some
IAS officers are seen and heard criticising the government that they serve.
They unhesitatingly participate in debates in television media making critical
remarks about the ministers and policies and methods of the government. One
wonders what is the “Lakshman Rekha” for these serving IAS officers who really sound like rebels.
Mr. Ashok Khemka who has become well
known by frequently defying the
government, getting transferred and getting huge publicity whenever such
transfers occur and readily giving his
views in media and answering questions
from journalists, has raised questions
as to what would be the rights and responsibilities of an IAS officer and
whether the service rule permit such rebellious methods. Mr. Khemka has got
away with such approach so far, possibly due to the friendly media that support
him all the time even without ascertaining the facts and a government that is unwilling to put its
foot down, fearing the media and the so called public opinion.
The fact is
that an IAS officer has to obey the orders of the ministers who are voted to
power by the people. If he is given an illegal order or an order in which he
has no agreement , he is entitled to request the minister to give the order in
writing. If the minister would give the order in writing, he has no alternative
other than obeying the order, even if he would not agree ; after recording his
dissenting note on the file.
officer has the responsibility to ensure smooth functioning of the government
apparatus by not adopting an approach of confrontation and friction with the
minister, by having a “holier than thou” attitude.
People know the
happenings in the government only through media. While Mr. Khemka may have his
stand, the ministers too may have the stand and every time Mr. Khemka accuses
the ministers , the ministers refute such accusations. For the public, there is
no real way to know who is right and who is wrong.
In any case,
it is absolutely irresponsible and unbecoming of serving IAS officer to give
media interviews , criticising the government. The right course open to him is
to go to the administrative tribunal, which looks into the issues concerning
the IAS officers and give it’s decisions.
and some of his similar friends are creating unhealthy precedent which will
inevitably weaken the administrative structure and create a new unhealthy practice and set bad example to the
and his friends should keep in mind that his juniors may also show similar attitude towards them, due to any
right or wrong reasons, learning from them.
Voice For The Deprived
nsvenkatchennai <at> gmail.com