Notice to Uttar Pradesh government on IAS, IPS transfers

June 8th, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday sought the Uttar Pradesh government’s justification for ordering the transfer of over 50 senior bureaucrats and police officers in wake of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party’s debacle in the 2009 general elections.
A vacation bench of Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy and Justice Aftab Alam issued notice to the Mayawati government seeking its explanation for reshuffling and axing senior officers from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) in the immediate aftermath of the declaration of the poll results.

The bench issued the notice on a lawsuit filed by former IAS officer Satyanarayan Shukla, who alleged that the senior bureaucrats and police officers were transferred out for their perceived failure in arranging BSP candidates’ victory in the parliamentary constituencies under their jurisdiction.

The bench, however, refused Shukla’s plea to scrap the transfer, saying it would not interfere with the government’s rudimentary power to transfer its officials unless the malafide is proved.

The Mayawati government had May 23, within days after the poll results were declared May 16, ordered the transfer of over 50 IAS and IPS officers. The government had termed the transfer as routine.

Shukla in his lawsuit, however, contended that they were shunted out simply because BSP candidates in their respective districts had lost the election.

The petitioners added that transferring officers because of the defeat of the ruling party candidates in parliamentary constituency under their administrative jurisdiction is a new but dangerous phenomenon, which raises not only the suspicion of misuse of official machinery in the elections by the ruling party, but also calls into question the authenticity of the parliamentary democracy in the country.

Such a dangerous practice would tar the image of the country’s democracy as one foisted by the bureaucracy as political parties would be suspected of winning elections through manipulations by government officials.

This, in turn, would lead to slow but steady rise of bureaucratic control over politicians and political parties owing to their role in manufacturing electoral victory or defeats of a political party, contended the petitioner.

The transferred officials included over a dozen district magistrates and nearly three dozen superintendents of police and deputy inspector generals of police.

Topping the list of transferred IAS officers was Kanpur Divisional Commissioner Dinesh Singh.

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