The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964
RULE 9. CRITICISM OF GOVERNMENT:
Government of India Decisions
(1) Government servants visiting foreign countries should not express views on Indian or foreign affairs.
Government servants visiting foreign countries should refrain from giving expression to views on Indian or foreign affairs and in particular, from making any written or oral statements without specific prior approval of the Head of the Indian Missions in the country visited.
(MHA OM No. 25/71/51-Ests., dated the 17.10.1951)
(2) Estimates Committee’s recommendation for giving freedom to officers to express their differing views
The Estimates Committee in para 20 of their Ninety-Third Report on public Services have made the following recommendations:-
“…As regards the obligations of the ruling party towards the permanent services, the Committee can do no better than to quote from a speech delivered by the late Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri during the course of discussion in Lok Sabha (on 01.04.1963) relating to demands for grant to the Ministry of Home Affairs of which he was then the Minister in charge:-
…the services, if their morale has to be kept up, must be given full freedom to express their differing views. It is entirely for the Minister to accept the view of the officers or not. If they are made to do things, then the morale of the services will go down and the administration will suffer and I personally think that ultimately, the people will also suffer.”
While the Committee endorse the forthright view expressed by the then Home Minister regarding the desirability of granting complete freedom to Government officers to express their differing views, they would also like Government to act in their capacity of loco parentis to the public services and shield them against all unjustified attacks from whichever source they are launched. In the opinion of the Committee, nothing can weaken the morale of the public services more than a general feeling that, in a certain set of circumstances, they may be subjected to harassing enquiries with no prospect of any protection from any quarter, for whatever they might have done in good faith.
2. The above recommendations of the Committee are brought to the notice of the Ministry of Finance etc., for information and guidance.
[MHA, OM No. 14/9/66-Ests.(A)-II, dated 03.08.1966]
(3) Tendering of evidence by Government servants before the Administrative Reforms Commission
Government have appointed the Administrative Reforms Commission to examine the public administration of the country and to make recommendations for reform and reorganization, where necessary. The Commission are interviewing senior Officers of Government and Heads of Departments at the Centre and in the States with a view to ascertaining their views on administrative reforms. In such interviews, Government servants will be free to give frank expression to their personal views, vide rule 10(3) of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964. No permission of Government or of the Head of Department is required for this purpose. However, the evidence tendered before the Commission should not be given publicity as that would amount to public criticism of Government or unauthorized communication of information vide rules 9 and 11 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
[MHA OM No. 25/8/66-Ests.(A), dated 27.07.1966]
(4) Service associations passing resolutions contravening Rule 9 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964
Instances have come to the notice of Government of Service Associations (including Federations/Unions) of Government employees passing resolutions, making statements and/or expressing opinion on issues which involve violation by the individual employee of Rule 9 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
2. The Ministry of Finance etc., are requested to take note of the breaches of this rule and to initiate disciplinary action by calling for explanation from those individuals who are signatories or parties to the resolutions or other activities mentioned in paragraph 1 above, if they are serving Government employees and if they in their individual capacity, as office-bearers of Associations (including Federations/Unions) of Government employees, or editors/publishers/office bearers of journals issued by such Associations (including Federations/Unions), have violated the provisions of the above-mentioned Conduct Rule.
[MHA OM No. 25/5/68-Ests.(A), dated 17.01.1968]
(4A) In spite of the instruction given in decision (4) above, certain resolutions passed by service associations/Unions/federations criticizing the action of a State Government in regard to the dismissal of some of their employees have come to the notice of the Government. Without prejudice to the discretion of the disciplinary authority to institute disciplinary action against the employees concerned, should it want to do so, it is requested that the provisions of the above decision No. (4) may be brought to the notice of all the employees in or under the Ministry of Finance etc., for their guidance and it may be reiterated that signatories or parties to resolutions, etc., passed by service associations/unions/federations which violate against the provisions of rule 9 would render themselves liable to disciplinary action.
[Cabinet Secretariat, Department of Personnel No. 25/4/72-Ests.(A), dated 18.02.1972]