The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964
RULE 20. CANVASSING OF NON-OFFICIAL OR OTHER OUTSIDE INFLUENCE:
Government of India Decisions
(1) Representation on service matters by relatives should be discouraged –
Relatives of a Government servant sometime make representations concerning service matters affecting the Government servant. This is done in some cases in the hope of reviving a representation which the Government servant had himself made and which had been turned down. In some cases, the procedure is resorted to in order to get round the requirements that the Government servant should submit his representation through his official superiors. The practice is obviously undesirable and should be strongly discouraged. It has accordingly been decided that no notice should be taken of a representation on service matters submitted by a relative of a Government servant. The only exception may be cases in which because of the death or physical disability, etc. of the Government servant, it is impossible for the Government servant himself to submit a representation.
[MHA OM No. F25/21/63-Ests.(A), dated 19.09.1963]
(2) Prohibition on brining any political or outside influence in respect of matters pertaining to service under the Government.
Rule 20 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964 provides that no Government servant shall bring or attempt to bring any political or other outside influence to bear upon any superior authority to further his interest in respect of matters pertaining to his service under the Government. Instructions have been issued from time to time bringing to the notice of all Government servants the aforesaid rule provisions. Instances have come to notice where individual Government servants have approached the Ministry of Urban Development (Directorate of Estate) for out of turn allotment of residential accommodation, or for a departure from the allotment rules through Members of Parliament, prominent persons, politicians etc. Since the allotment of Government accommodation to a Government servant is made only because of his service under the Government, such canvassing for out of turn allotment through MPs and other political persons etc. constitutes a violation of the provisions of Rule 20 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964. The Government servants are, therefore, advised to refrain from such practice. They should not bring or attempt to bring any political or other out side influence to further their interests in respect of matters pertaining to their service under the Government, including allotment of residential accommodation.
[DOPT OM No. 11013/6/90-Estt.(A), dated 30.03.1990]
(3) Procedure for dealing with the Government servants attempting to further their service interests through non-Governmental influence-instructions with reference to rule 20 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964-regarding.
Rule 20 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964 provides that no Government servant shall bring or attempt to bring any political or other outside influence to bear upon any superior authority to further his/her service under the Government. The Government of India has, from time to time, emphasized that Government servants should not approach Members of Parliament or State Legislatures or other political/outside authorities to sponsor their cases in respect of service matters. As per the existing instructions, vide OM No. 11013/7/85-Estt. (A), dated 22.05.1985, the following action should be taken against Government servants approaching Members of Parliament or State Legislatures for sponsoring individual cases:
(i) A Government employee violating the aforesaid provisions of the Conduct Rules for the first time should be advised by the appropriate disciplinary authority, to desist from approaching Members of Parliament /Members of State Legislature to further his/her interest in respect of matters pertaining to his/her service conditions. A copy of this advice need not, however, be placed in the CR dossier of the employee concerned.
(ii) If a Government employee is found guilty of violating the aforesaid provisions of the Conduct Rules a second time despite the issue of advice on the earlier occasion, a written warning should be issued to him/her by the appropriate disciplinary authority and a copy thereof should be placed in his/her CR dossier.
(iii) If a Government employee is found guilty of violating the aforesaid provisions of the Conduct Rules, despite the issue of warning to him/her, disciplinary action should be initiated against him/her by the appropriate disciplinary authority under the provision of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965.
2. In spite of these instructions, cases of individual Government servants continue to be sponsored by pubic representatives/outside authorities. After careful consideration of all aspects of the matter it has been decided that the following procedure may be adopted for dealing with communications from public representatives/outside authorities relating to the service matters of Government employees:
(a) Communications received from public representatives regarding problems of groups/categories of Government functionaries must be entertained and dealt with on a time-bound basis. In all such cases, after due examination, appropriate replies would continue to be issued at the level of the Minister concerned.
(b) All communications from public representatives relating to the grievances of the retired personnel should receive the same consideration and be dealt with in the same way as outlined in (a) above.
(c) In cases in which a public representative sponsors the cause of an individual Government servant (e.g. recruitment, appointment, promotion, posting to particular station, appointment to a specific position, complaints against supersession, expunction of adverse remarks, allotment of Government accommodation, etc.) a formal reply should continue to be sent from the Minister acknowledging the receipt of the communication stating that the contents of the letter have been noted and where necessary, suggesting that the person whose case has been recommended, may be advised to represent his case through proper official channels. All such communications addressed to the Minister shall be replied to at, his/her level. In all such cases the formal reply given by the Minister shall be deemed to dispose off the communication unless there are further directions from the Minister in the matter.
[DOPT OM No. 11013/12/94-Estt.(A), dated 12.01.1995]
(4) Canvassing of non-official or other outside influence by Government servants.
As the Ministries/Departments are aware, bringing or attempting to bring any political or other outside influence by a Government servant to bear upon any superior authority to further his interest in respect of service matters pertaining to his service under the Government is prohibited under the provisions of the Conduct Rules. Detailed procedure for dealing with the Government servants attempting to further their service interests through non-Governmental influence has been prescribed in this Department’s OM No. 11013/12/94-Estt.(A) dated 12.01.1995.
2. In spite of these instructions, it has come to the notice of this Department that certain Government servants are bringing to bear outside influence indirectly to further their service interests. It is clarified that brining of indirect influence by Government servant would also attract the provisions of rule 20 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
3. All Ministries/Departments/Offices etc. are requested to bring the existing instructions/rules to the notice of all concerned under their control and to take effective action against the Government servants who bring or attempt to bring outside influence to further their service interests, as prescribed in the OM dated 12.01.1995.
[DOPT OM No. 11013/11/97-Estt.(A), dated 06.11.1997]
(5) Representation from Government servants on service matters.
It has been envisaged in the Ministry of Home Affairs OM No. 118/52-Ests. Dated 30th April, 1952 on the subject mentioned above (copy enclosed for ready reference) that whenever, in any matter connected with his service rights or conditions, a Government servant wishes to press a claim or to seek redress of a grievance, the proper course for him is to address his immediate official superior, or the Head of his office, or such other authority at the lowest level as he is competent to deal with the matter. Of late, it is observed that there has been a tendency on the part of officers at different levels to by-pass the prescribed channels of representation and write directly to the high functionaries totally ignoring the prescribed channels. The problem is more acute in large Departments where often very junior employees at clerical level address multiple representations to the Minister, Prime Minister and other functionaries. Apart from individual representations, the service unions have also developed a tendency to write to the Ministers and Prime Minister on individual grievances. Some of these representations are often forwarded through Members of Parliament, in violation of Rule 20 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
3. Existing instructions clearly provide that representations on service matters should be forwarded through proper channel. The stage at which an advance copy of the representation may be sent to higher authorities has also been indicated. In MHA OM No. 25/34/68-Estt.(A), dated 20.12.1968 – (copy enclosed) time limits for disposal of various types of representations have been prescribed. If it is anticipated that an appeal or petition cannot be disposed of within a month of its submission, an acknowledgement or interim reply should be sent to the individual within a month.
4. Thus adequate instructions are available in the matter of submission of representations by the Government servants and treatment of the representations by the authorities concerned. As such submission of representations directly to higher authorities by-passing the prescribed channel of communication, has to be viewed seriously and appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against those who violate these instructions as it can rightly be treated as an unbecoming conduct attracting the provisions of Rule 3 (1) (iii) of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
[DOPT OM No. 11013/7/99-Estt.(A), dated 01.11.1999]
Copy of the Office Memorandum No. 25/34/68-Estt.(A) Dated 20.12.1968.
Representations from Government servants on service matters – Treatment of
Reference is invited to the Ministry of Home Affairs Office Memorandum No. 118/52-Ests. Dated the 30th April, 1952 on the subject mentioned above (copy enclosed for ready reference). It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Home Affairs that undue delay occurs very often in the disposal of representations from Government servants in regard to matters connected with the service rights or conditions which causes hardship to the individuals concerned.
2. The representations from Government servants on service matters may be broadly classified as follows:-
(1) Representations/complaints regarding non-payment of salary/allowances or other dues;
(2) Representations on other service matters;
(3) Representations against the orders of the immediate superior authority; and
(4) Appeals and petitions under statutory rules and orders (e.g. Classification, Control and Appeal Rules and the petition Instructions).
3. In regard to representations of the type mentioned at (1) and (2) above, if the individual has not received a reply thereto within a month of its submission, he could address, or ask for an interview with the next higher officer for redress of his grievances. Such superior officer should immediately send for the papers and take such action as may be called for, without delay.
4. Representations of the type mentioned at (3) above, would be made generally only in cases where there is no provision under the statutory rules or orders for making appeals or petitions. Such representations also should be dealt with as expeditiously as possible. The provisions of the preceding paragraph would apply to such representations also, but not to later representations made by the same Government servant on the same subject after his earlier representation has been disposed off appropriately.
5. In regard to the representations of the type mentioned at (4) above, although the relevant rules or orders do not prescribe a time limit for disposing of appeals and petitions by the competent authority, it should be ensured that all such appeals and petitions receive prompt attention and are disposed within a reasonable time. If it is anticipated that an appeal or a petition cannot be disposed of within a month of its submission, an acknowledgement or an interim reply should be sent to the individual within a month.
6. The instructions contained in paragraph 2 of this Ministry’s Office Memorandum No. 118/52-Ests. Dated the 30th April, 1952, will stand modified to the extent indicated in the paragraphs 3,4 and 5 above.
Copy of the Office Memorandum No. 118/52-Ests. Dated 30th April, 1952.
Representations from Government servants on service matters – advance copies.
References are frequently received in this Ministry enquiring whether the submission of advance copies of representations to higher authorities is permissible and as to the treatment that should be accorded to such copies. The matter has been carefully considered and the following instructions are issued for the guidance of all concerned.
2. Whenever, in any matter connected with his service rights or conditions, a Government servant wishes to press a claim or to seek redress of a grievance, the proper course for him is to address his immediate superior official, or the Head of office, or such other authority at the lowest level as he is competent to deal with the matter. An appeal or representation to a higher authority must not be made unless the appropriate lower authority has already rejected the claim or refused relief or ignored or unduly delayed the disposal of the case. Representations to still higher authorities (.e.g. those addressed to the President, the Government or to Hon’ble Minister) must be submitted through the proper channel (i.e. the Head of Office, etc. concerned). There will be no objection at that stage, but only at that stage to an advance copy of the representation being sent direct.
3. The treatment by the higher authorities of advance copies of representations so received should be governed by the following general principles –
(a) If the advance copy does not clearly show that all means of securing attention or redress from lower authorities have been duly tried and exhausted, the representation should be ignored or rejected summarily on that ground, the reasons being communicated briefly to the Government servants. If the Government servant persists in this prematurely addressing the higher authorities, suitable disciplinary action should be taken against him.
(b) If the advance copy shows clearly that all appropriate lower authorities have been duly addressed and exhausted, it should be examined to ascertain whether on the facts as stated, some grounds for interference or for further consideration, prima facie exist. Where no such grounds appear, the representation may be ignored or summarily rejected, the reasons being communicated briefly to the Government servant.
(c) Even where some grounds for interference or further consideration appear to exist, the appropriate lower authority should be asked, within a reasonable time, to forward the original representation, with its report and comments on the points urged. There is ordinarily no justification for the passing of any orders on any representation without thus ascertaining the comments of the appropriate lower authority.
4. Some Government servants are in the habit of sending copies of their representations also to outside authorities, i.e. authorities who are not directly concerned with the consideration thereof (e.g. other Honorable Minister, Secretary, Members of Parliament, etc.) This is a most objectionable practice, contrary to official propriety and subversive of good discipline and all Government servants are expected scrupulously to eschew it.
(6) Recommendations of the Committee on Service Litigations regarding representations made by the Government employees, requiring examination in the Ministries/Departments.
On the above subject the following decision has been taken by this Department:-
(a) A representation made by a Government employee requiring examination only in a Ministry/Department, should be disposed of within a maximum period of six weeks and if requiring inter-departmental consultation, such representation should be replied to normally within a maximum period of three months.
(b) Final reply sent to a Government servant on his representation should be self-contained, cover all the points raised by him and in a case where the representation of the Government servant is rejected, the grounds therefore, should be clearly indicated.
[DOPT OM No. 28034/6/2002-Estt.(A), dated 11.01.2002]