In an interesting development, former IPS-officer-turned lawyer Y. P. Singh has written a letter to the secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training of the Central government against the extension of service of Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar citing violation of the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958.
According to the letter, also addressed to Neela Satyanarayana, State Election Commissioner, “Proper analysis of the factual matrix of the case and the principles of law stated supra would lead us to only one conclusion, that the orders dated 30th November, 2007 are not reasoned, rational and are also not in larger public interest. They do not satisfy the basic ingredients of the relevant provisions and instructions issued by the government itself for grant of extension to the members of the All India Service. The action of the government thus, suffers from vice of arbitrariness.
“Resultantly, these orders are quashed. Needless to add that this ruling of the High Court sets a binding precedent. In this case, the Special Leave Petition filed by the Government of Maharashtra was dismissed by the Supreme Court. It is further submitted that the proposed extension shall not be in consonance with the law because there is no provision under the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958, to grant extension to a Municipal Commissioner.”
Singh, in his letter, further said, “As per the rules governing extension of officers belonging to the All India Service, like the IAS, extension is possible only under the circumstances when a member of the service dealing with budget work or working as a full-time member of a Committee which is to be wound up within a short period. Member of the Service holding the post of Chief Secretary to a State Government or Cabinet Secretary, Defence Secretary, Home Secretary, Director, Intelligence Bureau, Secretary, Research and Analysis Wing and Director, Central Bureau of Investigation. It is seen that Subodh Kumar does not fall in any of the aforesaid three categories. Since as per rules no extension can be granted to a Municipal Commissioner, that being so, this proposal is required to be shelved.
“It is needless to add that Anna Hazare and his team hold an enormous sway on elections. Team Anna had earlier campaigned in a bye-election and that they are going to do the same in other places. To have a person as the head of Municipal Corporation whose elections are being held, and who on record has bestowed favour to a prominent member of Team Anna, this shall not inspire confidence among the candidates and also the electorate. Even a slightest doubt on this shall violate the Model Code of Conduct for Elections prepared by the Maharashtra State Election Commission. Thus to violate the law at this critical juncture, when the politically sensitive elections of Municipal Corporation is being held, shall not be in the interest of justice and equity. In view of the foregoing, the proposed extension in service be shelved,” the letter concluded.