KCR opposes move to amend IAS rules: Dangerous, against federalism

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Telangana’s K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday became the latest chief minister to oppose the proposed amendments to All India Services (Cadre) Rules 1954, by the Centre, contending that the existing provisions are adequate to ensure harmonious and balanced deployment of officers.

In letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, Rao stated that the proposed amendments “militate against federal structure of our Constitution both in letter and spirit”.

He wrote that the proposed amendments will also seriously erode the All-India Service character of the IAS, IPS and IFS.

Rao wrote: “Telangana State Government, therefore, strongly opposes the proposed amendments. Considering the criticality of functions discharged by AIS officers in the states, the present rule position and practice provides for concurrence of state governments in matters of deputation of officers to the Central Government. The proposed amendment seeks to unilaterally disturb the above position, with the Central Government assuming the power to take officers on deputation without concurrence of the officers or state government concerned.

“This is a dangerous move which is against the constitutional framework and spirit of cooperative federalism. If the proposed amendments are effected by the Government of India, the state governments would be reduced to insignificant entities.”

Rao stated that the proposal is a move to exercise indirect control by the Centre on officers working in states; amounts to interfering in state governments’ functions; is targeted harassment of officers and their demoralisation, besides impacting accountability of officers to the state governments.

He wrote: “The proposed amendment is nothing but amending the Constitution of India relating to the Centre-state relations. Instead of such a backdoor method of amending the AIS rules, the Government of India should muster courage to amend the provision by Parliament. The proposed amendments threaten the spirit of mutual adjustment and accommodation between states and central government in the matter of shared AIS and will further strain centre-state relationship.”

The CM stated that the Centre should cease and desist from the proposed amendments in the interest of administrative fairness and federal polity of the Constitution.

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