The over 4,700-member strong Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers' association today welcomed the Supreme Court verdict favouring fixed tenure for bureaucrats, saying it will help in ensuring good governance.
"We support the judgement. It vindicates our stand. It will help in good governance across the country," IAS officers' association secretary Sanjay R Bhoos Reddy told PTI.
It is necessary that the judgement not only gets implemented in letter but in spirit also, he said.
The association of Indian Forest Service (IFoS) also supported the apex court verdict."We support the judgement. It is a good judgement. It will check in arbitrary transfers and suspensions," said IFoS association's President A R Chadha.
In a land mark verdict, the Supreme Court today 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.
Suggesting sweeping reforms in the functioning of bureaucracy, a bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan said Parliament must enact a law to regulate postings, transfers and disciplinary action against bureaucrats.
The judgement comes close on the heels of controversies surrounding Ashok Khemka, IAS officer of Haryana cadre over DLF-Robert Vadra land deal, and Durga Sakhti Nagpal, UP cadre IAS officer, who was targeted by the state government for alleged misconduct.
IAS, IFoS and Indian Police Service associations have been demadning changes in service rule to ensure arbitrary transfers and suspensions of officers.
There are about 11,000 members of the three services-- around 4,737 IAS, 3,637 IPS and about 2,700 IFoS officers-- working across the country.
"This is a landmark judgement. Public servants are not private servants," said former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian.
"Today faith in our Constitution has been reaffirmed...our faith in the strength of democracy has been reaffirmed because the highest court of the land has recognised the problems," he said, adding "malgovernance affected people and quality of administration".
Former Election Commissioner T S Krishna Murthy lauded the verdict, saying "Good governance is critical to good quality democracy.
"Most of us have seen in our career how most of the transfers, promotions, postings and foreign assignments, all of them are decided on whimsical basis very often," he said.Former CBI Director Joginder Singh said, "I am happy over this judgement but having said that
I am aware that similar judgement was passed by the Supreme Court on September 20, 2006 on fixed tenure of police officers but all states are dilly-dallying".
The PIL on which the apex court had given its verdict had alleged that at present, the system of transfers, postings, promotions, disciplinary action and other personnel matters pertaining to the members of civil services are ad-hoc and non-transparent.