The Supreme Court after reversing Kerala High court orders, had stayed disciplinary proceedings (initiated by Kerala government) against a 1998 batch IAS officer, B Ashok. This will have serious repercussions on civil services. The officer, in an article published in 2013, had supported the then Gujarat chief minister (now PM Modi)’s visit to a function in Kerala—something, the state government had opposed ostensibly on extraneous considerations. The civil servant is expected to be politically neutral. Contributing an article against state govt’s decision, in print media was not permitted save with prior approval of competent authority. The officer could have expressed his opinion independently and fearlessly on official files instead of through a newspaper article. The State govt was within its legitimate right to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the officer for violation of Conduct Rules. GOI should take a holistic view to avoid embarrassment. The decision would boomerang unless remedial measures are taken by GOI. How would it react if its officers start opposing its policies in newspaper articles, promoting chaos and impacting governance adversely?

DOP&T as nodal authority, is expected to move the case forward to logical conclusion by filing SLP in the  Apex court with  prayer for reviewing its verdict.


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About A.K.Saxena

A K SAXENA, an Indian national, is a retired civil servant from Government of India He is also a freelance journalist with several published investigative articles and columns in various fields to his credit. His writings are a reflection of his interest in writing on divergent themes and making the topics relevant to a wider audience. A post graduate in Chemistry from University of Delhi,he could not sustain his interest in pursuing research and instead chose to enter the government service through the IAS etc exam held by the UPSC. “KALASAVYA” that brought out several publications besides organizing cultural shows.

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