Post-Retirement Appointments.

It is a well established practice that officers of the All India Services as well as senior officials of the State Services and judges are appointed after retirement to various Tribunals, Statutory Commissions/Boards/Authorities or for that matter to any entity created under the Constitution or statutes including the posts of Governors of the states. This is generally done with a view to making use of these retired officials by accessing their immense knowledge base, matured experience and vision for the larger public good.

As the bureaucratic and judicial apparatuses are extremely important for the robustness of democracy, the sanctity of these administrative and judicial tools needs to be maintained in an impeccable manner by making it politically neutral. This aspect becomes even more important in an environment of overpowering culture of strong political parties , intensely vying with each other to maintain their supremacy through a culture of no holds barred to capture power.

In this context, the officials looking forward to get appointed to the post-retirement assignments mentioned above may become vulnerable to the political machinations of the party in power and lose neutrality in decision making or toe the line of the government even if the decisions are not tenable under the Constitution or the Statutes or not good for the people. It’s seen, barring some exceptions, the officials close to the political leadership tend to attract preference for such post-retirement assignments, notwithstanding the competencies or suitability. This is denting the robustness of the democratic ecosystem.

On this background, in my opinion, this practice of appointment of the above mentioned retired officials be stopped forthwith and healthier practice of appointing them during their final five years of service be established. The officials can be give option of opting for such post-retirement assignments at the age of 55 years with a condition that they will have to exit the service once they join the assignment. The government can think of making provisions for additional posts by increasing the cadre strengths on the lines of the Central Deputation reserves.

Such a system would ensure the neutrality of the administrative and judicial machineries as well their experience and knowledge could be utilized for the posts mentioned earlier.

This aspect needs wider discussion.


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