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Rumblings Within Maharashtra IAS as Non-Cadre Officers Take Cadre Posts

Some of the top posts being headed by non-IAS include heads of municipal corporations, important government departments and bodies While Maharashtra cadre IAS officers wait for their posting, state cadre officers with close political connections are getting posted as Collector, too This has been seen as an arbitrary move by many IAS officers and activists, and there is a plan to file a PIL in the Bombay High Court soon
Indian Masterminds Stories

As some non-IAS officers are getting appointed to cadre posts while IAS officers are being kept waiting, there have been some inner rumblings in the Maharashtra IAS cadre, although most of them do not want to come out in the open and excuse themselves from commenting on the contentious issue.

There have been reports that as many as 16 cadre posts are headed by non-IAS officers in the state.

Officers from the Postal Service, Information Service, Sales Tax, etc., are in posts meant for the IAS.

JUNIOR OFFICERS PIPPING SENIORS TO TOP POSTS

Word is also going around that junior officers are being given top posts bypassing senior IAS officers. IAS officers like Sonia Sethi, Pravin Gedam, Sachindra Pratap Singh, Ruchesh Jauwanhsi and Vaibhav Waghmare are on this list, our sources confirmed.

Some of the top posts being headed by non-IAS include heads of municipal corporations, important government bodies and departments. While Maharashtra cadre IAS officers wait for their postings, state cadres with close political connections are getting posted as even Collectors.

ARBITRARY MOVE, SAY IAS OFFICERS AND ACTIVISTS

This has been seen as an arbitrary move by many IAS officers and social activists. Social activist Laxminarayan Shetty has even sent notices to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, and also to the Maharashtra Chief Secretary, to revoke the postings of non-IAS in cadre posts existing beyond the stipulated period of three months without approval, and contrary to the central rules governing IAS cadre. He has also threatened to file a PIL in the Bombay High Court soon if corrective steps are not taken.

STATE SERVICE OFFICERS CITE RESERVED POSTS

An officer from the state civil service in a plum post in the heart of Mumbai, who did not want to be named, told Indian Masterminds that she is there because some posts are reserved for state deputation. However, according to activist Shetty, the ex-cadre posts exceed the total number of 56 posts reserved for state deputation, including ex-cadre in Maharashtra.

Former Maharashtra FDA chief, Mahesh Zagade

CIVIL SERVICES BOARD SHOULD ACCESS SUITABILITY

Speaking to Indian Masterminds, former Municipal Commissioner of Pune and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) chief, Mahesh Zagade, IAS, said, “The Civil Services Board headed by the Chief Secretary must assess the suitability of an officer for a certain post, and then only submit the proposal for appointment or transfer to the Chief Minister for the final decision. By doing so, they will be operating in the true spirit of the 2013 Supreme Court judgment.”

The landmark SC verdict of 2013 favoured fixed tenure for bureaucrats. It held that bureaucrats should not act on verbal orders given by political bosses and sought an end to frequent transfers and suggested a fixed tenure to insulate them from political interference. The bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan also said Parliament must enact a law to regulate postings, transfers and disciplinary action against bureaucrats. The IAS Officers’ Association had issued a statement at that time in support of this verdict. “It vindicates our stand. It will help in good governance across the country,” the statement said.

PIL IS THE WAY TO FIGHT THE INJUSTICE

While speaking to Indian Masterminds, renowned civil servant turned lawyer from Mumbai Abha Singh confirmed that lot of non-IAS officers have been given postings which are meant for IAS officers. “That is primarily because the politicians are very comfortable with the ‘son of the soil’ theory. The non-IAS officers are all Maharashtrians. They have local rules, local linkages, and it is usually seen that they follow the politicians’ orders to the hilt because they know they are not going to reach to the top. All the plum postings they can get only by the blessings of the politicians,” she said.

Civil servant turned lawyer, Abha Singh

She is also in favour of the court stepping in. She said, “A PIL should be filed in the high court. Cadre posts should not be given to non-cadre officers. If the IAS officers feel their legitimate posts are being given to non-cadres, they should approach the court. If they do not want to do it themselves, there are activists who can do it.”

Giving an example, she cited the former DGP Maharashtra PS Pasricha and Mumbai Police Commissioner D.N. Jadhav case, whose three-month extension was challenged in the Bomay High Court. A PIL was filed and former IPS officer turned lawyer YP Singh successfully argued the case, leading to the court quashing the extension given to the two IPS officers.

“Some of the non-IAS officers, who have got the best postings and are now floating in wealth, must be investigated,” she said in conclusion.

NO COMMENTS!

Indian Masterminds contacted many other retired and working IAS officers but they did not want to comment. “I don’t really have anything to say. No reaction at all,” said former Additional Chief Secretary Home, Sudhir Shrivastava. We have also not been able to elicit any response from the Maharashtra IAS Association, as calls and mails requesting for their stand on this issue have gone unheeded so far. As and when we get a response, we will update this story.


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