Government questioned on plea on bureaucrats (Lead)

August 8th, 2011 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday gave the central and state governments another four weeks to file their replies on a petition seeking fixed tenure for bureaucrats and insulating them from political pressures.

Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma gave two weeks’ time to petitioners, including former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, to file their rejoinder once the governments file their response.

The court’s latest direction came after its earlier notice March 5 received replies only from a couple of states.

Besides Subramanian, other petitioners are former ambassador to US Abid Hussain, former chief election commissioners T.S. Krishna Murthy and N. Gopalaswamy, former Manipur governor Ved Prakash Marwah and 78 other officials who belonged to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS).

The petitioners have sought the court’s directions making it mandatory for the bureaucrats to put down in writing all the instructions and suggestion they get from their administrative and political bosses, legislators and commercial and business interests or from those wielding influence in the corridors of power.

They have sought for directions to the centre and state governments to implement the recommendations of the Hota Committee report on civil service reforms, the administrative reform commission on central staffing scheme, the Santhanam Committee report on the prevention of corruption, and the Jha Commission report on economic administrative reforms.

The petitioners have said that various committees and commissions have recommended the setting up of an independent civil services board to check arbitrary and frequent transfer of bureaucrats.

The case would be heard next after six weeks.

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