Hyderabad: The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s quashing of the appointment of retired IAS officer Suresh Kumar as chief principal secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has become a point of discussion in IAS circles in both Telangana and AP. In both states, several retired IAS officers have been reemployed in several positions.
In IAS circles, there were different versions on the applicability of the High Court judgement in case anyone took the matter to court in the two states.
Some said the High Court quashed Mr Kumar’s appointment on the grounds of delegation of more powers and not following proper procedure on his appointment. Others said there would be no responsibility and accountability if any retired IAS officer committed a mistake and the government had no powers in taking disciplinary action. This was applicable to all reemployed retired IAS officers.
When Mr Amarinder Singh appointed Mr Kumar, the High Court set aside the appointment and said a retired IAS officer was holding a public office without any authority of law. The court said his being entrusted important functions after having ceased to be a public servant was inexplicable. It also wanted to know how such an appointee could be held accountable for his decisions.
In TS and AP, there are about 15 retired IAS officers appointed at various positions by the governments.
In the wake of the Punjab High Court orders, the fate of these retired IAS officers came up for discussion in the IAS circles.
Retired IAS officer S. Balasubramanyam said the High Court order would not have any effect on retired IAS officers holding positions in the two states. He said Mr Singh had given all powers to Mr Kumar to take decisions in his absence. The court objection was about extending the Chief Minister’s powers and not on appointing retired IAS officer.
But another section felt the observation about accountability for decisions taken would apply to all state governments, including in TS and AP....