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Issue No.: 561 | March 2014
 

Babus’ Post-Retirement Jobs

Ashok Karnik
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Home Secretary R. K. Singh’s post retirement entry into politics, particularly in the BJP, raised many eyebrows. Bureaucrats have been frequently rewarded by the ruling party with posts of Governor or Ambassador for their efficiency or loyalty but it did not attract criticism. A high official like the Home Secretary joining the opposition party (BJP) caused consternation. Then the Police Commissioner of Mumbai resigned from his post and joined the opposition party (BJP again). There were TV debates if this was ethical and legal. A lot of sound and fury was raised without coming out with any solution. Judges are routinely favoured by the ruling party by appointing them on various Commissions, effectively extending their service tenure. Nobody raises a voice as judicial acumen is needed on Commissions. Is it time to consider the entire gamut of post retirement activities?

Post-retirement appointments made by the ruling party entail financial benefits as fresh jobs are made available. However, those joining the opposition parties cannot be accused of doing so for pecuniary benefits. They could be accused of gambling on possible future benefits. The worry is about the officials’ and judges’ actions getting affected by considerations of future assignments. Senior government servants have a cooling off period of two years before they can take up a private job after retirement. Should the same restriction apply for joining political parties and appointments on Commissions? Would such a restriction be constitutionally valid? Would it not deprive the Government of the services of capable and distinguished persons for assignments to non-official posts? And all this hoopla because a couple of officers joined an opposition party!

Every issue has at least two sides. A wise man examines all sides before coming to a conclusion. This is an attempt to present various sides of an issue so that a considered  opinion can be formed.

Readers are invited to email their points of view on serious issues of the day to ashokkarnik2001@yahoo.co.in

Readers who do not have the facility of a computer can also post (mail) their points of view on serious issues of the day to "Point Counter Point”, c/o Freedom First, 3rd floor, Army & Navy Building, 148, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai, 400001.

 
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