Ordinance to adjust ‘indispensable’ officer

CHANDIGARH: No matter which party is at the helm, a retired bureaucrat who will turn 70 this month appears to be indispensable for the Punjab Government.

Ordinance to adjust ‘indispensable’ officer

She is likely to get the extension — via ordinance route — following the Cabinet approval to amend the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes Act, 2004, to raise age bar for Chairperson’s post from 70 to 72 years.

shalender@tribune.com

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 16

No matter which party is at the helm, a retired bureaucrat who will turn 70 this month appears to be indispensable for the Punjab Government. So much so that on Monday, the Cabinet approved an amendment to the law to ensure she held her post for two more years. 

Currently the Chairperson of the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes, Tejinder Kaur, who superannuated in 2009, got her first post-retirement stint as the Chairperson of the Punjab State Infrastructure Regulatory Authority during the Akali-BJP regime’s first tenure.

A 1973-batch IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, Tejinder completed her five-year term in the infrastructure regulatory authority in 2014. 

She is likely to get the extension — via ordinance route — following the Cabinet  approval to amend the Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes Act, 2004, to raise age bar for Chairperson’s post from 70 to 72 years. 

Appointed in October 2018, a clause in the SC body’s terms of appointment states that a person can hold the Chairperson’s office for six years or till the age of 70, whichever is earlier. The rule would have meant Tejinder demitting  office in September. 

When contacted, Tejinder said increasing the age limit was the government’s prerogative. “I am nobody to comment on this. The government will be in a better position to reply,” she said.  

In an official statement, the government said the decision to raise the age would help in getting more experienced persons for the post, thus ensuring effective implementation of laws meant to protect and safeguard the interests of the SC community. An ordinance will be brought to amend Section 4 (1) of the Act to bring the change into effect, said a functionary.

A senior government official said there was nothing unusual as extensions in age limit had been allowed in other cases too. The adjustment of retired bureaucrats, particularly those who held positions during the SAD-BJP regime, too, has been causing resentment among senior Congress leaders, many of whom have been vouching for adjusting their supporters in various government offices. 

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