SC refuses to stall civil servants adjustment

Published On: January 14, 2019 08:50 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, Jan 14: The Supreme Court on Sunday declined to issue a stay order against the civil servants adjustment scheme brought by the government for adjusting civil servants in the federal, provincial and local governments.

A division bench of justices Kedar Prasad Chalise and Sapana Pradhan Malla declined to issue the stay order as demanded by a section of civil servants who had recently filed a writ petition against the government move. 

Following the final hearing on Sunday in relation to the writ petition filed by a group of 330 civil servants, the apex court stated that there was no ground for issuing stay order to stop the adjustment scheme. 

The disgruntled civil servants had moved the apex court arguing that the government’s plan to adjust them in the three tiers of government through the Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance on December 9 violates their fundamental rights and breaches the principle of career development of civil servants as guaranteed by the Civil Service Act, 1992. 

Challenging the Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance, the petitioners had sought immediate stay order to stop the adjustment scheme.

The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), who were named as the defendants, also attended the hearing on Sunday.

According to the petitioners, the ordinance contradicted with the 1992 Civil Service Act and also violated their fundamental rights as ensured by the constitution of Nepal. They argued that the scheme intended to limit their entire career once they are transferred in line with the ordinance. 

Altogether 119,069 civil servants have already filled applications online, expressing their interest for the adjustment. Over 34,000 civil servants have updated their personal details, the prime minister told the parliament on Sunday.

The MoFAGA had invited applications in the last week of December from all civil servants to submit applications online within 21 days for their adjustment in the new setup. The ministry had also asked the civil servants to mention their choice while submitting their application. 

As per the Office and Management (O&M) Survey endorsed by the cabinet, there will now be a total 47,920 civil servants in the federal government, 22,755 in the provincial level and 67,503 employees under the local governments.

The MoFAGA had formed a Civil Servants Adjustment Settlement Committee, which also had representation of trade unions to address the grievances put forth by them. 

The committee had prepared the report after holding consultations with various stakeholders and submitted it to the ministry but a section of civil servants have still been opposing the adjustment plan.

The new federal setup has been facing much criticism in the context that the provincial and local governments have failed to work properly due to shortage of staff. 

Although experts and former bureaucrats maintain that around 22,000 civil servants would be more than enough for the federal government, the new O&M approved by the government has recommended having over 47,000 employees under the federal government even though much of the federal government’s responsibilities have been delegated to the provincial and local governments.

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