Chapter 54: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS


Civil Service Regulations

Article 311 says that the all civil servants occupy posts during the pleasure of the president. But some restrictions are there on this to safeguard against arbitrary dismissal:    

    1.      No civil servant can be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to the one that appointed him.

      2.      A servant can’t be dismissed except by inquiry where he is informed of the charges and given reasonable opportunity to defend himself.

The above safeguards aren’t applicable to people holding defence posts or military service.

 The second safeguard is not applicable when the civil servant is convicted of an offence, the disciplinary authority states in writing reasons that it’s not practical to hold such an inquiry or president or governor feel that in interest of security of state such an inquiry isn’t needed.

Tribunals:

Under article 323A the parliament can establish administrative tribunal for speedy justice to aggrieved civil servants. The central administrative tribunal [CAT] and state administrative tribunals [SAT] have been formed under this.

Central Administrative Tribunal

CAT has 1 chairman and 65 members all have rank of HC judges and are appointed by the president. It has 17 benches 15 of which operate from high courts. Term of chairman is 5 yrs or till age of 65 and members if 5 yrs or till age of 62 whichever is earlier. It has original jurisdiction on recruitment and all service matters of public servants. Appeals are heard by HC. It is guided by principles of natural justice.

State Administrative tribunals

SAT and Joint administrative tribunals can be established by parliament after states make a request. The president appoints chairman and members after consulting the governor or governors of concerned states.

Tribunals for other matters:

Article 323B allows parliament and state legislatures to establish tribunals for other matters too. HC and SC have appellate powers over these. Tribunals under article 323A don’t have a hierarchy but under 323B can be in a hierarchy.

Liabilities of civil servants:

The Parliament as well as the state legislatures is empowered to make laws for the compulsory acquisition of private property by the governments.

Compensation has to be paid only:

(a) When the government acquires the property of a minority educational institution; and

(b) When the government acquires the land held by a person under his personal cultivation and the land is within the statutory ceiling limits

The government (Union or states) in India can be sued for torts (civil wrongs) committed by its officials only in the exercise of its non-sovereign functions but not in the sovereign functions. Judicial officers enjoy legal liability for official acts.

Civil servants are not personally liable for official acts but the government is. However if the contract isn’t made as per directions given in the constitution then the civil servant is liable personally.

Civil proceedings can be instituted against them for anything done in their official capacity after giving a two months’ advance notice.  Criminal proceedings can be instituted against them for acts done in their official capacity, with the prior permission of the president or the governor, where necessary.

They aren’t immune from civil or criminal liability for personal actions.


Provisions for SC / ST / OBC / Anglo Indian

Constitution leaves to the President the power to specify as to what castes or tribes in each state and union territory are to be treated as the SCs and STs. Thus, the lists of the SCs or STs vary from state to state and union territory to union territory.

In case of the states, the President issues the notification after consulting the governor of the state concerned. But, any inclusion or exclusion of any caste or tribe from Presidential notification can be done only by the Parliament.

Financial powers of the State:

The Constitution has placed the following restrictions on the taxing powers of the states:

(i) A state can impose taxes on professions. But, the total amount of such taxes on a person should not exceed Rs. 2,500 per yr.

(ii) A state legislature can impose taxes on the sale or purchase of goods (other than newspapers) within the state only except import – export duty and interstate trade duty or on goods declared by Parliament to be of special importance in inter-state trade and commerce.

(iii) A state legislature cant impose tax on the consumption or sale of electricity except that consumed by the Centre or sold to the Centre; or railways.

(iv) A state legislature can impose a tax in respect of any water or electricity traded by authority established by Parliament for regulating or developing any inter-state river or river valley but such a law must receive president’s assent.


TAX REVENUE DISTRIBUTION

A. Taxes Levied by the Centre but Collected and Appropriated by the States (Article 268) namely

(i) Stamp duties on bills of exchange, cheques, promissory notes, policies of insurance, transfer of shares and others.

(ii) Excise duties on medicinal and toilet preparations containing alcohol and narcotics.

The proceeds of these duties are fully assigned to that state.

 

B. Service Tax Levied by the Centre but Collected and Appropriated by the Centre and the States (Article 268-A) is divided amongst centre and state as per law.

 

C. Taxes Levied and Collected by the Centre but Assigned to the States (Article 269) namely

(i)Taxes on the sale or purchase of goods (other than newspapers) in the course of inter-state Trade or commerce.

(ii) Taxes on the consignment of goods in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.

E. Surcharge on Certain Taxes and Duties for Purposes of the Centre (Article 271) goes fully to centre.

F. Taxes Levied and Collected and Retained by the States are taxes on matters in state list.

 

Distribution of Non-tax Revenues

 Grants-in-Aid to the States are of types:  Statutory grants and Discretionary grants:

  1.  Statutory Grants are given to the states on the recommendation of the Finance Commission.
  2.  Discretionary Grants are made to the states on the recommendations of the Planning Commission. These are more than statutory grants.
  3.  Other Grants / temporary grants are made to the states on the recommendation of the Finance Commission.

Law Commission of India

It is an adhoc advisory body that suggest amendments to old laws. However such suggestions are non binding on the government.

Members are experts chosen by the government. Tenure is 3 years. Chairman and 4 members are present.

Official Languages Commission

Appoint such a commission after 5 years from the date of commencement of the Constitution and then after every 10 years - Article 344.

This committee makes non binding recommendations to the Parliament for use of Hindi as the official alnguage.

Convention is to have Home minister as the chairman.

30 members with 20 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.

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