Proxy rule syndrome
Public servants should be responsible for whatever they do in their official capacity and not act as rubber stamps for their superiors
Recently, I filed two writ petitions in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. Both were filed in matters with which I am personally related. But the purpose of filing them was as much to do with the larger cause of governance, which according to me is the cornerstone on which the entire system of governance should be based. What this means is that if we genuinely want the Indian system of governance to reach the levels we often feel like and state, the primary requirement is to have a system where public servants are accountable for whatever they do in their official capacity.
In the first petition, I challenged the current practice of Secretaries in a Chief Minister’s office putting their signatures in the latter’s name. The petition pointed out that till 2007, in files presented by my office, the Chief Minister actually signed them. But subsequently, none of the files that went to the Chief Minister’s office was signed by him/her. Instead, an officer, serving as the secretary to the Chief Minister, signed them, noting that the file was being approved by the Chief Minister. This practice seems to be in vogue even now because in one of my files, instead of the Chief Minister, one of his Secretaries approved the file in his name…Read More