Thursday, June 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Vigilance Dept should be with CS
Punjab IAS Officers Association shoots off letter to CM
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
A controversy has broken out in top echelons of the Punjab civil administration with regard to the administrative control of the Vigilance Department, the most powerful organisation of the state apparatus.

In a strongly worded letter, the Punjab IAS Officers Association, has stated that “the need of the hour is that the Department of Vigilance should be with the Chief Secretary”. The association has addressed the letter to Chief Secretary, Rajan Kashyap with a copy to Mr S.K. Sinha, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, to apprise the latter (CM) of its views. The association has sought an appointment with the Chief Minister to discuss the issues raised therein.

At present the administrative head of the Vigilance Department is Mr Sinha, who is also the Home Secretary and a confidant of the CM. It is, perhaps, for the first time that the administrative control of the Vigilance Department is with the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister. Earlier, its control used to be with the Chief Secretary, head of the state administration.

Sources in the CM’s office said today that the Chief Minister had not yet responded to the request for an appointment by the association.

The association’s letter says that “the Vigilance Department should remain with the Chief Secretary as has always been the case since he is the head of all services.”

The Chief Secretary’s involvement in clearing complaints that merited registration of FIRs was mandated in the March, 2000 instructions. However, as a consequence of the high court’s stay on these instructions, these have been held in abeyance, says the letter.

The instructions were issued after long deliberations at the level of the Council of Ministers to ensure that frivolous, false allegations are not converted into FIRs. As it may take some time for the Supreme Court to decide this case, “the need of the hour is that the Department of Vigilance should be with the Chief Secretary”. At the same time, the association has also urged the Chief Secretary to “seek early hearing on the SLP in the Supreme Court filed by the state government for vacation of the stay on the instructions.”

Countering Mr Kashyap’s proposal for inter-cadre swapping of IAS and IPS officers at a certain level the association said such a move would upset the “balance and tradition” of public service in the state. “The central legislature, in its profound wisdom, has created the IAS and the IPS as different all-India services with a clear intent and purpose. Arbitrary decisions to the contrary amount to over-riding the legislative mandate. Under the Police Act, no civilian officer can command the uniformed police force. An IAS officer can never be legally posted as a DIG or an SSP etc”, reads the letter.

The association has drawn the attention of the Chief Secretary towards what it describes as the “imbalance within the IAS cadre”. Handing over the duties of IAS officers to IPS officers will further compound it and cause heartburning among IAS officers.

Indirectly pointing out a big “flaw” in the allocation of work to IAS officers, the association has stated that “a number of IAS officers are already under-employed. It has been accentuated by the assigning of 10-12 departments to three or four officers only”. Without making a mention, the association has tried to convey to the Chief Secretary and the CM that a few officers are being favoured in allocation of work denying adequate work to other members of the IAS cadre.

Opposing the posting of IAS officers in the Police Department, the association says that “an IAS officer cannot be legally posted to assignments of lower administrative responsibility couched in deceptive high-sounding nomenclature. Hon’ble courts have struck down many such moves”.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |