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New Delhi: An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or Indian Police Service (IPS) officer cannot remain suspended beyond a week except for a prior sanction of a review committee to state governments, according to new rules finalized by the Centre.

Besides, state governments will have to inform the Centre within 48 hours about the suspension of an all India services officer—IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFoS), if the rules come into force. The move assumes significance as there have been demands from civil servants about rules to check arbitrary suspensions and transfers of bureaucrats by the state governments.

Officers like Ashok Khemka, Durga Sakthi Nagpal and Kuldip Narayan, among others, have allegedly been victims of arbitrary suspensions and transfers. The ministry of personnel has received a number of representations in this regard. According to the draft All India Services (Discipline and Appeals) Amendments Rules, 2015, for continuing suspension beyond a week, the appropriate government will have to get the recommendations of the civil services board or central review committee as the case may be.

The review committee at the Centre is headed by the secretary in the ministry concerned (personnel for IAS, Home for IPS and Forest for IFoS) whereas the chief secretary heads it at the state level.

The new rules further make it mandatory for state governments to confirm the order of suspension from the Centre of an IAS, IPS and IFoS officer within 30 days. In existing rules, the period was 45 days. “As soon as a member of the service is placed under suspension or is deemed to have been placed under suspension, the information in this regard shall be communicated to government of India by fastest means and definitely within 48 hours," as per the new rules.

There is no time-limit in the existing rules. The personnel ministry has formed the new rules after consultations with state governments and Union territories administration. It has circulated these draft rules for further comments from home and forests ministries.

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