Explained: Shah Faesal will return to IAS; what are the rules for resignation and reinstatement of an officer?

News: IAS officer Shah Faesal, who resigned in 2019, has been reinstated by the central government. What is the process by which an IAS officer can resign, or be put back in service? What rules govern these actions?

The first Kashmiri to top the Civil Services Examination (2010 batch), Faesal’s resignation, in January 2019, had not been accepted by the government pending investigation into some of his posts on social media.

What rules apply when an IAS officer chooses to resign?

A resignation is a formal intimation in writing by an officer of his/her intention or a proposal to leave the IAS, either immediately or at a specified date in the future.

Guidelines of the Department of Personnel, the cadre controlling department for the IAS, say that a resignation has to be clear and unconditional.

The resignation of an officer of any of the three All-India Services — IAS, the Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service — is governed by Rules 5(1) and 5(1)(A) of the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958.

There are similar rules for resignation of officers belonging to the other central services as well.

Resignation vs VRS

Resignation from service is entirely different from accepting the government’s Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).

Those who take VRS are entitled to pension, whereas those who resign are not.

To whom must the resignation of an IAS officer be submitted?

An officer serving in a cadre (state) must submit his/her resignation to the chief secretary of the state.

An officer who is on central deputation is required to submit his/her resignation to the secretary of the concerned Ministry or Department.

The Ministry/Department then forwards the officer’s resignation to the concerned state cadre, along with its comments or recommendations.

What happens after the resignation is submitted?

The state checks to see if any dues are outstanding against the officer, as well as the vigilance status of the officer or whether any cases of corruption etc. are pending against him/her. In case there is such a case, the resignation is normally rejected.

Before forwarding the resignation to the central government, the concerned state is supposed to send information on the issues of dues and vigilance status, along with its recommendation.

The government also checks whether the concerned officer had executed any bond to serve the government for a specified number of years on account of having received specialised training, a fellowship, or scholarship for studies.

The resignation of the officer is considered by the competent authority, i.e., the central government, only after the recommendation of the concerned cadre has been received. The competent authorities are:

Minister of State at the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) in respect of the IAS

The Minister for Home Affairs in respect of the IPS

The Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change in respect of the Forest Service.

Being the minister in charge of the DoPT, the Prime Minister himself takes decisions currently in respect of the IAS.

Is an officer allowed to withdraw a resignation that has already been submitted?

Rule 5(1A)(i) of the amended DCRB Rules says the central government may permit an officer to withdraw his/her resignation “in the public interest”.

An amendment in the Rules in 2011 states –

– that the period of absence from duty between the date on which the resignation became effective and the date on which the member is allowed to resume duty as a result of permission to withdraw the resignation is not more than ninety days”.

– Also, the request for withdrawal of resignation shall not be accepted by the Central Government where a member of the Service resigns from his/her service or post with a view to be associated with any political parties or any organisation.

Under what circumstances, the withdrawal of an officer’s resignation is accepted?

The guidelines say that if an officer who has submitted his/her resignation sends an intimation in writing withdrawing it before its acceptance by the competent authority, the resignation will be deemed to have been automatically withdrawn.

Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: Shah Faesal will return to IAS; what are the rules for resignation and reinstatement of an officer?” published in The Indian Express on 30th Apr 22.

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