SC to bureaucrats: Don't take oral instructions from netas NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday drastically reduced political pressure on top bureaucrats by ruling that they must get an assured minimum tenure in posting. "Fixed tenure of bureaucrats will promote professionalism, efficiency and good governance," the SC bench observed. "Much of the deterioration in the functioning of bureaucracy is due to political interference," the SC said. The SC also directed the Centre and state governments to pass an order within three months on giving fixed tenure to civil servants. The apex court also empowered top bureaucrats to record in writing the oral instruction of political bosses on files so as not to be hounded later on for a particular decision. The SC said that such recording of political instructions by bureaucrats will also help in promoting transparency and will allow general public to access correct information. The verdict, which is on the line of apex court's earlier order on police reforms for giving fixed tenure to senior police officers in Prakash Singh case, will go a long way in giving freedom and independence to the functioning of bureaucracy. The judgement comes close on the heels of controversies surrounding Ashok Khemka, IAS officer of Haryana cadre over DLF-Robert Vadra land deal, and Durga Sakhti Nagpal, UP cadre IAS officer, who was targeted by the state government for alleged misconduct. The apex court passed the verdict on a PIL filed by 83 retired bureaucrats including former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian seeking its directions for insulating bureaucracy from political interference. The petitioners also include former Indian ambassador to the US Abid Hussain, former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami, former election commissioner T S Krishna Murthy, former IPS officer Ved Prakash Marwah, and former CBI directors Joginder Singh and D R Kaarthikeyan. "This is a landmark judgement. Public servants are not private servants," Subramanian said. "Today faith in our Constitution has been reaffirmed...our faith in the strength of democracy has been reaffirmed because the highest court of the land has recognised the problems," he said, adding "malgovernance affected people and quality of administration". Krishna Murthy lauded the verdict, saying "Good governance is critical to good quality democracy. "Most of us have seen in our career how most of the transfers, promotions, postings and foreign assignments, all of them are decided on whimsical basis very often," he said. The PIL had alleged that at present, the system of transfers, postings, promotions, disciplinary action and other personnel matters pertaining to the members of civil services are ad-hoc and non-transparent. "There is an urgent need to make the civil servants accountable, sensitive and responsive. If this is achieved, there will be across-the-spectrum benefits... "Transfers are often used as instruments of reward and punishment, with officials being frequently transferred on the whims and caprices as well as the personal needs of local politicians and other vested interests. Officers, especially those in the All India Services serving in state governments, have no stability or security of tenure," it had said. The PIL had also said the civil servants at all levels should be given a minimum three-year fixed tenure on each post to foster functional freedom and independence. Any premature transfer should specifically be authorised by the 'civil service board/commission' on specific circumstances to be brought out in writing, it had said. At least four high-powered panels made recommendations for freeing the bureaucracy from political interference but the government had not taken any concrete step for implementation of the reforms suggested by them, it had said. "Change of government invariably leads to new rounds of transfers as the incoming group of political leaders seeks to reward supporters and put its "own" staff in key positions. "Moreover, the 'transfer industry' is backed by entrenched and powerful vested interests as frequent transfers generate huge amounts of black money for corrupt officials and politicians...," it had said. The PIL had said that there should be an independent, high-powered and statutory 'civil services board' in each state which should process proposals of postings and transfers. SC to bureaucrats: Don't take oral instructions from netas - The Times of India **************************************************************** A fantastic judicial opinion from the Supreme Court. It just indicates how disgusted the Indian public has become of the corrupt and neo colonialism that has gripped the country because incompetent oafs, who use corruption, nepotism and threats to govern, have entered the political mantle. The disgust that is also evident amongst the bureaucrats is so evident that 83 retired bureaucrats including former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian filed a petition seeking its directions for insulating bureaucracy from political interference. If these idiots who masquerade as politicians and self assign themselves to be 'leaders' are reined in to do just their job, India would be a better place. The whole country is fed up with the sad state these political scoundrel have reduced India to, destroying all vestiges of democracy and crushing all instruments of governance!