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In-charge culture

The phrase in-charge sounds bizarre but it is a reality. The Government has adopted the in-charge culture whenever and wherever it suits it. It means putting a blue-eye person of a lower rank and seniority in charge of a higher position or rank as “temporary arrangement”. However, as the saying goes, nothing is more permanent than what is temporary. Actually, it is a ploy to shower favour on chosen functionaries who are at a lower rung of the cadre. Since it becomes legally and technically difficult to show them any favour out of the way, the interested authorities have devised the short cut to success in making them in-charge of a higher post even if they are not either qualified or entitled to that.
A case in this context has been filed before the Division Bench of the State High Court.  Government’s order of appointing three in charge Chief Engineers has been quashed on grounds of impropriety of not promoting the qualified and deserving senior Superintending Engineers as Chief Engineers and putting the juniors in that charge. The Government’s contention that placing in charge does not mean either promotion or any other benefit but is a matter of exigency is not tenable. The court decreed that this was impropriety and the Government should fill the vacant senior posts by taking recourse to the Service Rules and not indulge in the game of putting juniors in change of higher posts.
This is a landmark decision and should becomethe guiding star in cases of in-charge culture. It is not only the PWD where such misuse of authority has been witnessed. In-charge culture has become pervasive in our State and is also one of the main causes of bad governance. The Government should apply the court verdict in all cases of in-charge and thus get the administration rid of dead wood. That will be a positive step towards enforcing good governance.

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