Government retains powers to transfer top officers for now

Cabinet withholds decision to form Civil Services Board

The State government will continue to have powers to transfer IAS and IPS officers as the fixed tenure policy has been kept under abeyance as per the decision taken in the State Cabinet recently.

A petition filed in the High Court of Karnataka, challenging the Cabinet decision dated March 3, 2014, was dismissed. Hence, the Cabinet decision holds good. 

However, the government has to seek the permission of the Election Commission of India (ECI) before transferring the officials in view of the model code of conduct, official sources said.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee is learnt to have on Tuesday submitted a report to the chief minister’s office on the row over making a wrong submission in the court without consulting the government on the issue of fixed tenure. 

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had given a dressing-down to Mukherjee and DP&AR Principal Secretary Sanjiv Kumar for the goof-up at the Cabinet meeting recently and directed the chief secretary to submit a report within 24 hours.

But the details of the report were not made available to the media. Mukherjee, when contacted, refused to divulge any details. Kumar is understood to have informed Mukherjee that he has neither cleared any file pertaining to the court case nor has issued any direction on making a submission in the court.

Sources said a government advocate representing the case is learnt to have submitted before the court that the government has complied with the Supreme Court order by establishing the Civil Service Board (CSB) for overseeing implementation of the fixed tenure for IAS, IPS, IFS, KAS officers and heads of departments.

The advocate, sources said, had done this, apparently ignoring a subsequent order issued keeping the notification issued for establishing CSB under abeyance. 

Though the court dismissed the petition on learning that the notification has been kept under abeyance, the blunder had irked Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet colleagues. 

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