If Government servant is not complying with Govt Orders, can be treated as misconduct, warranting initiation of appropriate departmental proceedings against them: Madras High Court
“If the Secretary Level Ocers have not complied with the orders of the Government, how we can expect a common citizen to comply with the orders of the Government”, remarked the Madras High Court on Friday (18th December) while coming down heavily on the state government for lack of response in implementing a government order (G.O.), passed in the year 2010 to ensure a corruption free and transparent administration in the State of Tamil Nadu.
The Bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice B. Pugalendhi also observed, “If the Government servant is not complying with the orders of the Government, the same can be treated as misconduct or as unbecoming of the Government Servant, warranting initiation of appropriate departmental proceedings against them.”
Observations of the Court
The Bench noted that an Administrative Reforms Committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Justice A.K.Rajan, Retired Judge of Madras High Court, to ensure the corruption free and transparent administration.
Read The Full Order Below
W.P.(MD)No.14481 of 2020
N.KIRUBAKARAN , J.
(Order of the Court was made by B.PUGALENDHI, J.)
Today, when the matter is taken up for hearing, Mrs.J.Padmavathi Devi, learned Special Government Pleader appearing for the State sought for short accommodation till 21.12.2020, as the learned Advocate General is held up in another Court proceedings and therefore, she is not in a position to get instructions as sought for by this Court.
2.The Government constituted an Administrative Reforms Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr.Justice A.K.Rajan, Retired Judge of Madras High Court, to ensure the corruption free and transparent administration and certain recommendations of the said Committee were also accepted by the Government, vide G.O.(Ms)No.24, Personnel and Administrative Department, dated 17.02.2010, wherein one of the recommendations is for fixing accountability on every Government servant, at every stage at every level. The Government, while accepting these recommendations, has requested all the Heads of the Departments to issue necessary orders to this effect while delegating the powers. Even though the said Government Order has been passed in the year 2010, none of the Departments has taken any effective steps to implement the said Government Order.
3.Every Government Servant is expected to act in accordance with the Acts, Rules and the Government Orders issued by the Government then and there. If the Secretary Level Officers have not complied with the orders of the Government, how we can expect a common citizen to comply with the orders of the Government. If the Government servant is not complying with the orders of the Government, the same can be treated as a misconduct or as unbecoming of the Government Servant, warranting initiation of appropriate departmental proceedings against them. When the Secretary Level Officers have not even adhered to G.O. (Ms)No.24, dated 17.02.2010, nearly for a decade, then, how the same can be viewed?
4.Only after the directions of this Court, it appears that the Government has sent reminders to the respective Departments on 19.10.2020 and 28.11.2020 for implementation of the Government Order in G.O.(Ms)No.24, dated 17.02.2010, based on the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Committee. Even thereafter, only few Departments responded with certain Circulars or some Administrative Instructions in a vague manner without implementing the said Government Order in true letter and spirit.
5. The Chief Secretary to the Government has also, vide his letter dated 11.12.2020, instructed all the Secretary Level Officers to send the action taken report on the implementation of the said Government Order and to input Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department immediately, in a day or two, so as to enable the Department to file a consolidated comprehensive report before this Court on or before 18.12.2020 [today]. But, few Departments alone have responded to that effect and that is also not in letter and spirit as contemplated in the above said Government Order.
6. “Ignorantia legis neminem excusat” – Ignorance of law excuses no one. Even a common man cannot plead that he is ignorant of law of——Click below the pdf link to read/download the full Order.