Classified data disclosure: DoPT issues new rules for retired bureaucrats : The Tribune India

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Classified data disclosure: DoPT issues new rules for retired bureaucrats

Says the rules are for safeguarding classified information, protecting national security interests and maintaining the integrity of bureaucracy

Classified data disclosure: DoPT issues new rules for retired bureaucrats

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20

The government has introduced stringent measures to prevent retired bureaucrats from disclosing classified information, with the possibility of facing severe consequences.

In a notification dated July 6, the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) said that if bureaucrats reveal confidential information after retirement, it may result in the termination of their pension and other associated benefits.

The decision to implement these rules comes in response to numerous instances where retired IAS, IPS, and IFS officers have made sensational disclosures in their books, revealing information that should not be in the public domain, officials in the department said.

In order to curb such practices, the Central Government has devised a set of strict regulations known as the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement-Benefits) Amendment Rules, 2023, and notified in the Gazette of India.

According to Rule 3(1), retired All India Service officers will only receive their pension if they maintain good conduct. “Rule 3(2) states that if a pensioner is convicted of a serious offense or found guilty of misconduct after retirement, the Central Government has the authority to indefinitely suspend their pension,” it said.

The severity of the offense committed by the retired officer will be determined by the government, which must seek advice from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) before taking any action to suspend or terminate the pension, it further said.

The notification also stresses that individuals, who have worked in intelligence departments, must obtain permission from the head of the organisation before disclosing any information publicly. “Sub-rule (4) of Rule 6(a) prohibits members of the All India Services who have served in security agencies or intelligence departments from making any publication without prior permission,” it said, while providing a stipulated form to take such permission.

This includes refraining from disclosing sensitive information about the organisation’s work area, personnel details, ranks, roles, expertise, and any other classified information witnessed during their tenure. The disclosure of such information which poses a threat to India’s sovereignty, integrity, security, strategic interests, economic interests, or foreign relations, is strictly prohibited.

More to these, it is said in the notification that any act that promotes criminal activities will also be considered a violation of the rules. It clearly states that bringing such information into the public domain through letters to publications, press or electronic media, books, posters, pamphlets, or any other form of publication will be deemed a serious offense.

The publication of data contained in records, documents, memoranda, emails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, or any other electronic form maintained by a member during their service will be treated as a grave crime, the DopT said in the notification.

In justification for issuing new rules the DoPT said these are for safeguarding classified information, protecting national security interests, and maintaining the integrity of the bureaucracy.

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