Appointment row set to dominate MCC meeting

Mysuru City Corporation: In what could be perceived as a clear violation of the Karnataka Civil Service Rules, the state government is all set to re-appoint a junior engineer who has already retired from the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC).

Sources told City Today that the MCC has received an order from the government asking corporators and officials to discuss the re-appointment of junior engineer T Padmanabha during the council meeting to be held on March 18.

The meeting to discuss Padmanabha’s reappointment was scheduled for March 14 but had to be postponed to March 18 following tense atmosphere in the city that resulted out of a murder of BJP activist Raju on March 13.

The government has sought recommendations from the MCC officials on the issue which according to sources is expected to be in favour of the engineer. Padmanabha’s date of retirement was September 30, 2015. 

“Yes. The subject will be discussed during the council meeting on March 18 and the recommendations will be submitted to the government,” confirms one of the senior corporators. He further said that the civic body was in favour of his re-appointment considering the lack of experienced engineers in the department.

Sources said that Padmanabha, after his retirement, had written to the Municipal Administration seeking re-appointment and had also managed to procure a recommendation letter from the Chief Minister following which an order was sent to the MCC.

Once the recommendations are made in the council meeting it will be sent to the government which will take a final call.

While the MCC is ready to debate the issue, the reappointment per-se goes against the civil service rules and regulations. A circular issued by M R Gayathri, Undersecretary, DPAR, on February 29, 2016, asks various government departments to stop hiring retired employees with immediate effect.

Department heads will have to evaluate vacant positions and hire new staff under regular recruitment rules, it states. The decision applies to all departments, autonomous and aided institutions, boards and corporations, and undertakings in government control.

The circular was issued after the department noticed regular rules being bypassed, and thousands of retired employees getting extensions and fresh jobs at the secretariat and elsewhere. 

The issue of Padmanabha’s reappointment has, however, not been taken lightly by some officials who are against the move. “It’s a clear violation of law. Even if the earlier notification (prior to the DPAR circular) on the re-appointment of a retired employee has to be considered, one of the conditions is that the corporation should announce the re-appointment in the newspapers and form a committee comprising the MCC Commissioner, officers and a public representative and interview the candidate before placing the proposal before the council. But no committee was formed in this case,” one of the MCC officials said.   

Sources maintain that the civic body lacked experienced staff in all the departments. “Most of the officials in the higher positions don’t have enough knowledge about procedures and they depend heavily on their assistants. In this scenario, it is inevitable to have officials with experience who are well-versed with the work,” the source said.

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