Filing of PIL by IPS against service Rules ?
- Friends,Saw an Article dated 06 July 2013 in the respected newspaper “The Sunday Guardian” which possibly has Sri M J Akbar as its Editor. The article titled “Akhilesh loses ground in UP, Mulayam loses hope” says- “A certain level of anarchy has been unleashed in the functioning of the party.” Among other things it also refers to me saying-“Officers in the UP government are also kicking off discipline. A senior PCS officer Hari Shankar Pandey filed an FIR against three IAS officers for harassing him. A senior IPS officer Amitabh Thakur files PILs with an alarming regularity, in complete disregard of service rules.”
Thus the article, in a way, charges me of filing PILs on a regular basis, “in complete disregard to service rules.”
The fact on the other hand is that to the best of my knowledge no service rule seems to stop a government servant, including the All India Services officers, from filing PILs. It does not even say that the government servant shall take permission from the concerned Government before filing PILs. The All India Service officers are governed by the All India Services (Conduct) Rules 1968 which has a total of 23 Rules in it. None of these Rules, to the best of my knowledge, stops or prohibits any officer from moving to the Court to file PILs or service related matters.
The only bar, if at all is as regards vindication of acts and character of members of the Service as stated in Rule 17 of these Rules which says-“No member of the Service shall, except with the previous sanction of the Government have recourse to any court or to the press for the vindication of official act which has been the subject matter of adverse criticism or attack of a defamatory character.”
Thus the Conduct Rules only prohibit going to Court for vindication of official acts.
Interestingly, here again, there is an exception which says-“ Explanation.—Nothing in this rule shall be deemed to prohibit a member of the Service from vindicating his private character or any act done by him in his private capacity provided that he shall submit a report to the Government regarding such action.”
What it seems to mean is that the officers don’t need even this previous sanction to vindicate their private character or private act.
Yet, a responsible newspaper like The Sunday Guardian came on record to state that regular filing of PILs by an IPS officer is against Service Rules, which to me seems to be an incorrect statement.
Though someone might regard the matter as not being very serious, yet I have written to the newspaper stating these facts, requesting them to present my point of view as well if found correct. This is because I personally believe that any written or spoken word shall be given utmost regard and we shall be extremely careful, responsible and accountable for every word we say or write. To me it seems that the more we develop and adapt this attitude in our country, the more responsible we will become as a true citizen of India, who cares not only for himself but for others as well.
Your views on the matter, please?Letter to Editor--