Unlike any other job in the country, an IAS officer’s job involves policy formulation and implementation at the grass-root level rules within the country. The duties of an IAS officer are of prime importance, and he/she is responsible for handling the daily affairs of the elected government. There have been incidents where an IAS officer is suspended due to various reasons.
First of all, suspension of any government officer is not a punishment. It also does not mean that the officer is removed from his/her position. The accused IAS officer is suspended to ensure that he/she cannot interfere in the investigation process. If the charges against the IAS officer hold some grounds, they are offered a chance to clarify their conduct and prove their innocence before the court.
Reasons for Suspension
Various reasons can lead to the suspension of an IAS officer, namely corruption charges, insubordination, misconduct, incompetence in performing assigned duties, etc. The suspension period depends on the allegations against the IAS officer. However, the suspension can be withdrawn within 6 months after the preliminary inquiry or explanation of charges by the alleged IAS officer.
The IAS officer suspended can resume the posting after the suspension is revoked. The suspension is through the rules of conduct, and the IAS officer receives subsistence salary, i.e., at least 50% of their salary during their suspension period. Further, the IAS officer is not allowed to leave the city, town or country during the inquiry period.
Process of Suspension of the IAS Officer
#1. After the suspension of an IAS officer, the State Government submits the charge sheet for the suspension order of the IAS officer. If the State Government cannot submit the charge sheet within two months, the suspension charges against the IAS officer are revoked.
#2. If the charge sheet is submitted by the State Government and approved by the Union Government, the suspension order will continue until the case comes to a final decision.
Powers of an IAS Officer
IAS officers have the responsibility of the administration of a district or state or department or ministry. They need to function effectively and efficiently. They can alter or generate policies on Social Initiatives, Education, Health and the Economy. The Indian Constitution gives officers the power to take an active part in the growth of our country. However, if utilised wrongfully, such immense powers of an IAS officer can lead to strict punishments. So what happens if an IAS officer is suspended and if he/she is innocent?
Safeguard the IAS Officer
Article 311 is to safeguard the civil servants. They cannot be dismissed from their post by the recruiting authority immediately after a charge. However, it can happen after an inquiry in which they have been informed of the charges and are given an opportunity to prove their innocence. Article 311 is devised to safeguard against arbitrary removal of a Government servant or reduction to a lower rank. The stated provisions are enforceable in a court of law.
During the suspension, an IAS officer is not deprived of all the facilities. The employee continues to be a government servant despite the order of suspension. During the suspension period of the officer, the employee is provided with an allowance known as suspension allowance. However, the suspension allowance is less than the salary of an employee.
Some FAQs Related to ‘What Happens When an IAS Officer is Suspended?’
# Who can suspend an IAS officer?
An IAS officer can only be suspended by the present government whose affairs the officer is serving.
# Can a complaint be made to challenge against vigilance clearance of the IAS officer?
No, vigilance clearance cannot be denied by the IAS officer unless there are charges such as corruption, disproportionate assets, violation of conduct rules, etc.
# Can vigilance clearance be denied during preliminary inquiry?
Vigilance clearance can be denied for three months on a preliminary inquiry.
FAQ Set Two
# Who is the competent officer to grant vigilance clearance in respect of the IAS officer?
DOP&T is the competent authority to grant a vigilance certificate for an IAS officer.
# Which authority is to complain against an IAS officer when posted in the state?
If an IAS officer is serving in the state, then the complaint is to be made to the chief secretary in the state government.
# Which authority is to complain against an IAS officer when posted in the centre?
If an IAS officer is serving the centre, then the complaint is to be made to the Secretary/ Joint Secretary in the department. However, the complaint of the IAS officer can be made to PIDIPR or competent authority such as Central Vigilance Commission.
FAQ Set Three
# When will the punishment of dismissal of a government officer amount to termination of service?
The termination of service of a Government employee amount to punishment of dismissal will depend upon the terms and conditions governing his/her appointment to a post. However, there is no right to hold the assigned service, the termination of his employment or his revert to a lower post will not deprive him of any right. If the Government employee is temporary on the service, he has no right to hold the government service. The dismissal will amount to termination from services of a Government employee if he charges with some evil consequences.
# When will Article 311 be applicable?
Article 311 is applicable only on the dismissal, removal, or reduction in rank. Therefore, article 311 is also applicable for dismissal, suspension and reduction in rank of IAS officer.
# Does the government employee have a right to hold the posts or the rank after suspension?
IAS officers are known to be at the forefront of the Indian Administrative System. An IAS officer contributes to policy formulation and policy implementation. Misuse of power will guarantee punishment to such an officer, and termination of service may also occur. Thus a government employee does not have the right to hold the post till he rejoins after suspension.
IAS is a prestigious service in the country, and they have the responsibilities of policymaking and policy implementation. However, misuse of powers by an IAS officer will put a wrong impression on the aspiring candidates. Therefore, strict actions are taken on matters such as corruption charges, insubordination, misconduct, etc.
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