Premature Retirement under F.R. 56(j) – CCGGOO letter to PM
CONFEDARATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
GAZETTED OFFICERS’ ORGANISATIONS
R.P.Tewari – Ministry of Railways
Mobile : 9794863036 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bhaskar Bhattacharya – Ministry of Finance
Mobile : 8902198888 email email@example.com
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
Sub: Premature retirement of Central Government employees under F.R. 56(j)— matter regarding
Most respectfully, this is to submit that in the recent past, a good number of Central Government employees across the Departments have retired prematurely under FR 56(j). The subject rule has always invited debate due to its open nature that allows the Authority to retire any Government servant, once it is opined to be in the public interest.
Your kind attention is invited to DoPT’s OM under F.No. 25013/01/2013-Estt.A-IV dated 11/9/2015, which contains the following observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of State of Gujarrat Vs. Umedbhai M. Patel, 2001 (3) SCC 314, laying down following basic principles regarding premature retirement.
(i) Whenever the services of a public servant are no longer useful to the general administration, the officer can be compulsorily retired for the sake of public interest.
(ii) Ordinarily, the order of compulsory retirement is not to be treated as a punishment coming under Article 311 of the Constitution.
(iii) For better administration, it is necessary to chop off dead- wood, but the order of compulsory retirement can be passed after having due regard to the entire service record of the officer.
(iv) Any adverse entries made in the confidential record shall be taken note of and be given due weightage in passing such order.
(v) Even uncommunicated entries in the confidential record can also be taken into consideration.
(vi) The order of compulsory retirement shall not be passed as a short cut to avoid departmental enquiry when such course is more desirable.
(vii) If the officer was given a promotion despite adverse entries made in the confidential record that is a fact in favour of the officer.
(viii) Compulsory retirement shall not be imposed as a punitive measure.
2. General understanding on premature retirements and FR 56(j) among the Government servants is limited to the above observation of the apex court. However in majority of cases, F.R. 56(j) has been invoked presumably on graft charges. If that be so, these retirements become nothing but punitive in nature, which clearly contradict point no. (ii) and (viii) above. They also contradict para (vi)supra. Hence, the action taken is not accordance with the spirit of the above mentioned judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court.
3. But what prompted us to bring the issue to your kind attention is that in the aftermath of such action, fear psychosis has unfortunately gripped the Central Government employees across the Departments, acting as an impediment to discharge their normal duties. The prevailing deep sense of unease and uncertainty is a matter of concern and needs to be addressed immediately.
4. Against this background, Sir, we place our faith in your good office and request to kindly direct the authorities concerned
- (i) not to apply FR 56(j) arbitrarily in pending vigilance cases instead of steering the cases to logical conclusion and to invoke it only in appropriate cases;
- (ii) to revisit the cases where FR 56(j) has already been invoked;
- (ii) to put a clear definition of ‘public interest’ as envisaged in FR 56(j);
- (iii) to address the fear psychosis that has gripped the rank and file of officers/officials across the Departments.
These, we assure, would be a much effective advance in not only in sending clear message to the ineffective and corrupt but also reassure the efficient and the honest among the Central Government servants in performing their duties with pride and dignity and would benefit the Government and the society as a whole.
Copy for information to:
1) The Cabinet Secretary, GOI