Time demands serious review of terms for appointment of serving or retired persons in statutory bodies

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Daya Sagar

The issues that had been raised as regards the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) of India in 2012 and the manner in which the appointment was defended by the UPA 2 Government (outside and inside the judiciary ) had made many to profess that re-verification of the truthfulness and service antecedents of even highest level functionaries of Government for their employment/or positioning on the positions that enjoy constitutional safeguards during the tenure where even the retirement age is kept as high as 65 yrs. may still be required. In those days itself the Jammu and Kashmir Governor too had sought some CVC/other clearances about Sofi (who was recommended by state government for posting as Chief Information J&K ) who could on appointment , rules permitting, was to stay in the position for about 6 yrs. Though then the observations of the Governor might have appeared pinching to some but the times then surely demanded that. Imagine in case the incumbent CVC does not enjoy the confidence of the people how would his actions would be welcomed. Such questions and debates have continued at occasions even after that.
There are some positions on which the economy, security, development and generation of inputs for nation building are directly or indirectly dependent and no chance could be taken with such institutions where removal of a person after appointment is protected by very impermeable legal shield.
No doubt once a person reaches top position in civil services, as high as the level of a Union Secretary ,there should not be any need for still obtaining any clearances for his truthfulness, honesty and sincerity when need arises to consider him / her for appointment on some constitutional post National Human Rights Commission, Central Vigilance Commission, State Vigilance Commission , Election Commission and the like. But it is so unfortunate that in view of the extent to which the basic commitments / conduct have been allegedly abused over nearly last 3 to 4 decades need for doing a rethinking on blanket trust to be attached with high positions has arisen.
So with the socio- political culture that prevail even in 2020 it cannot be ruled out that there may not be any serving government servants working at prime position who for the sake of getting appointments / re employment on some commission / constitutional institution may not do justice to their regular job and instead care more to please the political bosses/ superiors for their rehabilitation after retirement. Imagine the material benefit in money and perks that flows to one in service or retired government servant if she/ he is appointed on a statutory position, where even retirement age is 65 years.
As on date there is a need for even the social institutions / organisations to impress upon the political leadership of India to incorporate through legislature some more conditions/ qualifications for appointment of the persons to head the institutions created through the Acts of Parliament / Acts of legislature or even high stake commissions / bodies appointed outside the statutory provisions.
The conditions could be like (1) The persons to be appointed there if selected out of the Retired Judges, IAS / IPS /IRS / IFS officers should not be appointed immediately on their retirement (2) The persons to be appointed if are to be selected out of the Retired Judges, IAS / IPS /IRS / IFS officers it should be ensured that the person should have retired not less than 1 years before the date the process of selection is initiated (3) Where the appoint has to be made out of the retired government employees any reference if made in the rules for selection only from IAS/ IRS/IPS/IFS/IAAS should be removed (4) Any person who has once served on such positions / posts should not be given another extension or appointed on any other regular commission where he is to be paid salary / pay/ perks/ out of the public exchequer , after his tenure is completed or he seizes to hold the earlier posting ( 5) etc.
Such like checks and balances need be thought of and can be deliberated publicly, but India cannot afford to lose more of time.
(*Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist & and a
social activist [email protected])

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