Sample Material of Public Administration Study Kit: Civil Services: Constitutional position

Sample Material of Public Administration Study Kit (Paper - II)

Civil Services: Constitutional position


Civil Servants implemented the policies, programmes and decisions of the government faithfully. An Administrative system nowhere in the world likes to have a civil servant who is indiscipline, inefficient, dishonest or corrupt and has become a security risk. The power of the government to terminate the services of the Civil Servants on the above grounds cannot be denied.But it has to be ensured that the government does not follow the policy of harassment and victimization of honest and efficient civil servants on extraneous considerations. Against such type of actions, Constitutional safeguards are required to check abuse and misuse, arbitrary and
discriminatory exercises of powers by the government. In a democratic society governed by the rule of law, disregard of it would set aside the constitutional promise of justice, equality, liberty and freedom. Thus, constitutional safeguards are essential for justice and its spirit. The Indian Constitution provides certain safeguards for the civil services so that they can discharge their duties freely and conscientiously, without any feeling of insecurity of tenure, under Article 311. The safeguards are:-

(1) That no civil servant would be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. It means that an officer can be dismissed, removed or reduced in rank by an authority superior to the appointing authority.

(2) Before dismissal or removal or demotion in rank a reasonable opportunity will be given to the officer. What does reasonable opportunity mean? Does it mean giving a hearing to the officer before framing charges or does it mean hearing him before taking the final action? This was not discussed in detail in the Constituent Assembly, and as per the sixteenth amendment of the Constitution; only one opportunity is essential to be given.
There are three exceptions to the procedural protection given by Clause (2) of Article 311.

(a) Where an officer is dismissed or removed or reduced in rank on the ground of conduct which has led to his conviction on a criminal charge. Here the question arises, what type of criminal charge? A charge of a grave
nature or an ordinary type, has not been specified.

(b) When the legitimate authority is satisfied that it is not practicable to hold an enquiry, it may dispense with it after indicating the reasons in writing.

(c) Where the President or the Governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the State it is not expedient to give to that person such an opportunity.

These are the safeguards as far as Article 311 is concerned. But, in our constitution, Article 320 (3) (c) says that “the Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission, as the case may be, shall he consulted on all disciplinary matters affecting a person serving under the Government of India or the Government of a State in a Civil capacity, including memorials or petitions relating to such matters.” It is implied in this clause that the charge sheet with the explanation of the officer concerned shall pass through the Public Service Commission.

Thus, our Constitution Makers tried to give procedural protection to our Civil Servants against possible arbitrary use of executive powers by involving Public Service Commission. However, the protection amounts to very little because opinion tendered by the Public Service Commission isn’t binding on the government. The second way is to go to court and seek protection from the Judiciary, but judicial protection will also not be very effective because the courts will only examine whether the prescribed procedure is followed or not. The recent case of ‘Union of India vs, Tulsi Ram Patel illustrates this point. It shows the ineffectiveness of judicial protection. In this case, Mr. Patel was dismissed under Article 311 (2) and he went to the Supreme Court. A Five-Judge Bench including the Chief Justice of India decided the case in favour of the Government of India. The Judges argued that the express language of the second proviso to Art. 311 (2) is inevitable and there is no escape from it. The learned judges opined that although it might appear harsh, the second Proviso had been inserted in the Constitution as a matter of Public Policy and Public Interest and for Public Good. It is in public interest and for public good that a government servant who has been convicted of a grave and serious offence or rendered unfit to continue in office, should be summarily dismissed or removed from service instead of being allowed to continue at public expense and to public detriment. Further, the Court pointed out that “it is, however, as much in public interest and for public good that government servants who are Inefficient, dishonest or corrupt or have become a security risk should not continue in service and that the protection afforded to them by the Acts and Rules made under Art, 309 and by Art, 311 be not abused by them to the detriment of public interest and public good.’ When a situation as envisaged is one of the three clauses of the second Proviso to Clause (2) of Art, 311 arises and the relevant clause is properly applied and the disciplinary inquiry dispensed with, the concerned Government servant cannot be heard to complain that he is deprived of his livelihood. The livelihood of an individual is a matter of great concern to him and his family, but his livelihood is a matter of his private interest and where such livelihood is contrary to public interest, the former must yield to the latter.


In India we have adopted the system of rank classification. Under this system of officers and employees themselves are classified. The system of rank classification admits of a few board classes only; and to cross the class barrier one must be promoted. Under this system the deployment of an employee does not affect either his payor position. An Assistant may be posted as U.D.C. or L.D.C., his pay and Eosition will continue to be
that of Assist. On the other hand even if he works as section officer his pay and position will remain unaffected. Likewise any posting of an IAS or IPS officer will not have any effect on his salary and seniority. He will continue to draw his salary according to his scale and seniority. During the period of East India Company the Civil Services in India were divided into two main categories:

(1) Covenanted: These were superior services initially only Europeans could belong to this service. They were known as covenanted since the company had entered into a covenant or agreement with them regarding
the conditions of service etc.

(2) Un-covenanted: These were subordinate services. The loyal Indians were taken into this branch of the service. Unlike the covenanted servants there was no agreement between these employees and the company.
In 1886, the Government of India appointed a commission under the Chairmanship of Sir Charles Aitchison. It submitted its report on December 23, 1887. On the basis of this report the services were classified into:

(1) Imperial Civil Service,

(2) Provincial Civil Service,

(3) Subordinate Services.

The ‘Imperial Civil Services’, on the suggestion of the Secretary of State came to be denominated as the ‘Indian Civil Service’. B. B. Misra observes, The recommendations of the Aitchison Commission which the Government accepted in essence did impart a great deal of finality to the structure of public service that emerged in 1890’s and at the turn of the century. The great majority of government officials in India were divided into classes corresponding to the responsibility of their work and the qualifications required to perform it. These ‘classes’ were organised for the most part, as ‘Services’, the highest or the ‘superior’ services, the ‘Provincial’ and then the ‘Subordinate’. The Superior Services were themselves divided into the ‘Central Services’ and All India Services’ which the Aitchison Commission had preferred to call ‘Imperial’. To meet the political demands for the provincialisation of the Superior Services the Lee Commission (1923) divide the main services into three classes:

1. All India Service,

2. Central Service, and

3. Provincial Service.

The ‘All India Services’ were recruited by the Secretary of State for work in any part of India. The central services dealt, inter alia, with the Indian States and foreign affairs, with the administration of the state railways with posts an telegraphs, customs audit an accounts and technical departments like the Survey of India and Geological Survey. Classification since Independence After Independence the Civil Services are classified (at the Union Level) as follows:

1. All India Services,

2. Central Services.

The Central Services have been divided into four categories:

1. Central Service Class I,

2. Central Service Class II,

3. Central Service Class III, and

4. Central Service Class IV.

The Third Pay Commission and Classification Prior to the Third Pay Commission, various posts in the Central Government were categorised into I. II, III and. IV as against the present classification into groups ‘A’ ‘B’ ‘C’ and ‘D’ as recommended by that ‘commission. The Fourth Pay ‘Commission recommended that the present system of classification be continued and the revised group-wise classification may be as follows: Group A: A Central Service post carrying a pay or a scale of pay with a maximum of not less than Rs. 4,000. Group B: A Central Service post carrying a pay or a scale of pay with a maximum of not less than Rs. 2,900 but less than Rs. 4000. Group C: A Central Civil post carrying a Pay or a scale of pay with a maximum over Rs. 1,150 but less than Rs. 2,900.

Group D: A Central Civil post carrying a pay or a scale of pay the maximum of which is Rs. 1.150 or less. Today Central Services are organised as:

1. Central Services Group A

2. Central Services Group B

3. Central Services Group C

4. Central Services Group D.

1. All India Services

Provisions for the All India Services is made in the Constitution itself. The I.A.S. and LP.S. are specifically mentioned and continued and Parliament is authorised to establish others by law.Before a law establishing a new All India Service can be passed, the Council of States must pass a resolution by two third majority declaring that such as service is necessary. The Constitution also authorises the Parliament to regulate by law the
recruitment and file conditions of services of persons appointed to these services. Accordingly, the All India Services Act was passed by the Parliament in October 1951. In 1966, a new All India Service, namely, the Indian Forest Service, has been set-up. At present, we have three India Services-the Indian Administrate Service, the Indian olive Service the Indian Forest Service. These services are common to the Union and the State Government in the sense that they serve under both.

2. The Central (Union) Services The Central Services are organised into four groups-A, B, C and D (Corresponding to former class I, II, III and IV Services). The officer class includes Group A (Comprising All India and Group A Central Services) and Group B (Basically the class of first line supervisors). As in the case of Group A Services, Group B comprises a number of services, each separate and distinct with little inter communication. Group C comprises clerical jobs and Group D comprises a large bulk he employees and includes “Safai’ employees, messengers, peons, ‘daftaris’, ‘jamadars’, etc. The common quality of these employees is that mostly they are unskilled. The U.P.S.C. makes recruitment to Group C services is made by the staff Selection Commission.

The employees of the Central Services work in the various departments under the Government of India. For example, they work in the departments/ministries like Railway, External Affairs, Posts and Telegraphs Defence, etc. The Central Service Group A Of the total 89,663 Group ‘A’ posts, around 57,997 are encadrdred into the various organised Group A services excluding the three All India Services. There has, however, been an appreciable ill Crease in the number of Group a services betwwen 1971 and 1995 and the number of Group a services has risen from 30 in 1971 to 49 in 1984 to 59 in 1995. Some of these services are very small in size such as the Indian Supply Service (167),Indian Naval Armaments Service (94), Indian Inspection Service (121) and Indian Legal Service (114).In fact, there are only 34 services with a’ cadre strength exceeding 500. With all 18 Engineering Services taken together have a cadre strength of 18,225, the Group A Central Services recruited through Civil Services Examinations account for 12,839 posts. The UPSC at present conducts four separate competition examinations to recruit suitable candidates to different cadres of the Central Services Group ‘A’ including All India Services.

Civil Services Recruited through Civil Services (Non- Technical) Examination:

1. Indian-Administrative Service

2. Indian Police Service

3. Indian Foreign Service

4. Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service

5. Indian Postal Service

6. Indian Railway Account Service

7. Indian Railway Traffic Service

8. Indian Railway Personnel Service

9. Indian Defence Accounts Service

10. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (N on -Technical)

11. Indian Audit and Accounts Service

12. Central Information Service

13. Indian Customs and Central Excise Service

14. Indian Civil Accounts Service

15. Central Trade Service

16. Indian Revenue Service

17. Defence Lands & Cantonment Service

18. Indian Defence Estates Service

19. Central Secretariat Service

20. Railway Board Secretariat Service

21. Armed Forces Head Quarter Civil Service

22. Indian Broadcasting (Programme) Service

23. Railway Protection Force

24. Central Labour Service Service Recruited through Engineering Service Examination:-

25. Indian Telecommunication Service

26. Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers

27. Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers

28. Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers

29. Indian Railway Service of Engineers

30. Indian Railway Stores Service

31. Military Engineering Service

32. Indian Naval Armament Service

33. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Technical)

34. Central Power Engineering Service

35. Indian Inspection Service

36. Indian Supply Service

37. Central Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Service

38. Central Engineering Service

39. Central Water Engineering Service

40. Central Engineering Service (Roads)

41. Indian Broadcasting (Engs.) Service

42. Border Roads Engineering Service 43. Overseas Communication Service

44. P&T Building Works Service

45. Indian Defence Service of Engineers

46. Military Engineers Service of Surveyors

47. Military Engineers Service of Architects

48. Survey of India Service

49. Central Water Engineering Service (Mechanical) Services Recruited through the Combined Medical Services Examination:

50. Railway Medical Service

51. Central Health Service

52. Indian Ordnance Factories Health Service Other Services Recruited through UPSC:

53. Indian Forest Service

54. Indian Costs Account Service

55. Indian Economic Service

56. Indian Statistical Service

57. Defence Research and Development Service

58. Defence Aeronautical Quality Assurance Service

59. Defence Quality Assurance Service

60. Central Legal Service

61. Company Law Board Service

62. Indian Salt Service.


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