In Uttarakhand, bureaucrats call the shots even after their retirement. It seems they simply don’t retire but make transition from one job to another. A Bureaucracy Today report.
In Uttarakhand, bureaucrats call the shots even after their retirement. It seems they simply don’t retire but make transition from one job to another.
Many IAS officers who retire in Uttarakhand are again able to get new postings, thanks to the benevolence shown by subsequent Governments. Some IPS and PCS officers have also been reappointed or given extensions after their retirement in the State. Besides money and perks like official cars, bungalows, home offices and staff on duty, reappointment brings with itself the continuation of official prestige and powers.
Many boards and authorities have been set up in Uttarakhand which have retired IAS or PCS officers as their heads or members. Grapevine is that these retired bureaucrats are accommodated in these positions to keep their status and perks intact.
Social activists have opposed such appointments saying that instead of appointing the retired officials, the Government should give chance to others in the line. They also allege a symbiotic relationship between politicians and bureaucrats for this purpose.
In November 2015, there was a con- frontation between the Central and State Governments when the Centre rejected the Harish Rawat Government’s move of reappointing Chief Secretary Rakesh Sharma to the post after his retirement.
Sharma, an IAS officer of the 1981 batch, had assumed the charge of the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary in July 2015. He retired from the post on October 31 in the same year. The State Government sought the Centre’s nod to reappoint him in the same post. Meanwhile, the Harish Rawat Government reappointed Sharma as Chief Secretary for the next three months using special powers. However, the Centre objected to the move saying that the extension of the tenure of the Chief Secretary vests with the Union Government.
As this issue created a confrontation between the State and Central Governments, the Uttarakhand Governor appointed Sharma as Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister. Insiders say that this was done to keep his position and status intact. In April 2016, Sharma was removed from the post when the State went under President’s rule.
The former Uttarakhand Chief Secretary, Dr RS Toliya, an IAS officer of the 1971 batch, was appointed as Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand in 2003. Dr Toliya retired from the post of Chief Secretary in 2005 after a two-year stint but was immediately
In Uttarakhand, commissions such as the State Information Commission & the Energy Regulatory Commission have become the choices of bureaucrats who are nearing retirement. Such bureaucrats are seen lobbying for getting posts in these departments as they have matching perks and status.
given the charge of Information Commissioner of Uttarakhand, a post he held from 2005 to 2010. “Dr Toliya’s appointment in the Information Commission paved the way for the appointment of other retired bureaucrats in this agency,” an official tells Bureaucracy Today.
SENIOR OFFICER SUPERSEDED
During the tenure of the then Chief Minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Subhash Kumar was made Uttarakhand Chief Secretary and Ajay Joshi who was senior to him was made Director General of the Uttarakhand Administrative Academy in Nainital. This was the first time that a senior official was virtually superseded and Joshi moved the Administrative Tribunal against this treatment.
Later, Alok Kumar Jain was made Chief Secretary. After the change of regime, Vijay Bahuguna became Uttarakhand Chief Minister and he brought back Subhash Kumar as Chief Secretary once again. This was a singular instance when a Chief Secretary who had been removed previously was reinstated in the same post by the CM.
SK Dass who was the Chief Secretary of the State was appointed as Chairman of the Uttarakhand Public Services Commission after his retirement. Indu Kumar Pandey who also held the coveted post of Chief Secretary was appointed as Financial Advisor to the Chief Secretary after his retirement. Alok Kumar Jain was appointed as Commissioner of the Rights to Services Commission. On his retirement, Subhash Kumar who had been appointed as Chief Secretary twice was made Chairman of the Uttarakhand Energy Regulatory Commission.
Former Chief Secretary NS Napalchyal was appointed as Chief Information Commissioner and later as Chairman of the Committee for Giving Boost to Appointment of Tribals in Government Jobs.
Kumaon Commissioner Avnendara Singh Nayal who retired in July 2016 has been reappointed as Director of the Uttarakhand Administrative Academy.
It is not that only IAS officers are getting Government postings after their retirement in the State. VS Dhanik who retired from the post of Social Welfare Director in July 2016 has been given an extension for six months. This has led to murmurs in bureaucratic circles as he is the first person in this post to get an extension from the Government.
TD Vela who retired as Superintendent of Police in July 2016 has been sent to Kashipur and given an extension for one year. Even a Police Inspector, Mahendra Singh Negi, has been given an extension for one year after his retirement and is now posted in the Roorkie Kotwali. The tenure of the Additional Director of Tourism, AK Dwivedi, has also been extended by the Government. Retired IAS officer Manjul Kumar
Joshi has been made Member of the Cooperative Tribunal. Retired IAS officer DK Kotiya has been given a posting in the State Administrative Tribunal. NK Joshi has been made Advisor in the Revenue Council. Retired IAS officer Jaidev Singh has been made Member of the Public Services Commission.
TREND NOT JUSTIFIED
The Uttarakhand Kranti Dal has been opposing the trend of reappointing retired bureaucrats. The party feels that this is not justified in a State like Uttarakhand which has a few resources and lacks money for its development works.
“This trend puts added stress on the exchequer and is not good for our State,” says the president of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, Pushpesh Tripathi. He says this is part of a nexus between the bureaucrats and politicians of the State. He also accuses the bureaucrats of calling the shots in the State and dictating the moves of Ministers concerned to their advantage.
In Uttarakhand, commissions such as the State Information Commission and the Energy Regulatory Commission have become the choices of bureaucrats who are nearing retirement. Such bureaucrats are seen lobbying for getting posts in these departments as they have matching perks and status.
Observers opine that most of the times, post-retirement appointments of bureaucrats are actually rewards for the favours extended by them to their political bosses while they were in office. Such appointments, they say, break the morale of serving officers.
Meanwhile, the list of retired bureaucrats getting reappointed continues to get bigger in Uttarakhand. Retired IAS officer Ram Singh has been made Member of the Administrative Tribunal, while Ajay Singh Nabiyal, also a retired IAS officer, has been appointed as Member of the Police Complaints Authority. Similarly, retired IAS officer PS Jangpangi has been made Member of the Revenue Council.