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Commissioners' transfer order - Exceptions galore set teeth on edge!

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, JULY 22, 2021: FOR the CBIC, the recent transfer-cum-posting order of Pr Commissioners and Commissioners was a coup de maître! For a good number of senior officers who were keeping an eye on the making of the 'script' - It turned out to be a coup de théâtre! For the 'script-writers', it was no less than coup d'état - 'scented' violations of the Transfer Policy nonetheless! For many 'field actors', it was coup de grâce for the entire matrix of administrative fair play! And an impartial coup d'œil reveals what is popularly known in the German mythology as Götterdämmerung - the downfall of the gods in the final battle with evil powers! In this case, it is the final act of downfall of whatever semblance of already peeled off 'stupa' of fairness was left!

How? Let's spare a glance at the crux of inputs reaching TIOL Editorial from many corners. Para 7.3.1 of the Transfer Placement Guidelines, 2018 states: "An officer, up to and including the rank of Principal Commissioner, shall not serve in a field postings in a particular 'A' category station, with or without break, for more than 10 years". Exceptions in double-digit have been made in utter abuse of the principles that restrain rule-makers from carving out generous rules of exception! Similar exceptions in 'healthy' numbers can also be seen in cases of Paras 7.2 and 7.4.1.

Another glaring exception in abundance, of course made in gay abandon, is the shift from sensitive to sensitive. At least three-dozen exceptions have been made where officers have been holding sensitive posts ranging between 9 years to over 25 years! A predictable defence can be - administrative exigencies. Quite digestible! But, exigencies in dozens? If it is so, many officers favour guillotining of the transfer policy. Not having a policy in place which tends to yield glimmers of hope, is better suited to the temperament of the Board.

For years the Board also has a convention to stitch together a 'Due List' of officers who are due for transfer. A quick glance at the list reveals that a couple of dozens have been left out! Why? Not known as yet! What may set one's teeth on the edge is the revelation that there are also Commissioners who have been holding Appeal charge for more than five years. All such aberrations do run afoul of the policy. Some records are indeed better left unbroken!