New Delhi: According to the policy, if both husband and wife are All India Service, they will be posted at the same state but they can’t be posted in home states of both of them.
So, an IAS-IPS couple needs the Prime Minister’s help to get posting in home state and live together.
Nisha, an IPS officer of 2011 batch who hails from Delhi, married her batchmate and IAS officer P Parthiban in 2012. She got allotted Tamil Nadu cadre and is posted in Coimbatore. Parthiban, who is from Tamil Nadu, got allotted AGMUT cadre (which includes Delhi and union territories) and is posted in Puducherry, a union territory.
Last year, the couple applied for an inter-cadre transfer on marriage grounds , a routine process whereby the government transfers one person to the spouse’s cadre so that they can live together in the same state for the rest of their career. In this case, however, this cannot be done under the rules, which specify that officers can’t be posted to their home states.
At a February 2 meeting chaired by Sanjay Kothari, secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the case left senior bureaucrats in a tizzy. “Being a unique case, (it) points to the gaps in the existing policy. Either of the officers can’t opt for the cadre of the spouse being their home cadre,” the minutes of the meeting have recorded.
Since Nisha, 29, presently posted as deputy commissioner of police in Coimbatore, cannot go to AGMUT cadre because Delhi is her home state and Parthiban, 32, cannot be sent to Tamil Nadu cadre as that is his home state, their representation may have seen a dead end.
However, a proposal is being sent to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find a way out.
“The committee after detailed deliberation decided that in such cases, a choice to the officers to choose the immediate next cadre opted by the officer in the detailed application form submitted to UPSC below the present cadre allotted may be provided. The committee further directed to put up the proposal for seeking approval of ACC,” the minutes of the meeting noted.
This means either of the couple can now choose a third cadre where both can be transferred. Nisha had chosen Tamil Nadu as her first preference in the UPSC application form while Parthiban had specified AGMUT as his fifth preference. So the couple will have to choice between Nisha’s second preference and Parthiban’s sixth.
ET had last year reported that the Modi Government was acting fast on requests from officers for inter-cadre changes on grounds of marriage, with the DoPT secretary chairing meetings every month to clear such cases.
There are several cases of officers finding their soulmates at the training academies after clearing civil service and getting married. Since officers are already allotted different state cadres by then, often the couple have different cadres, forcing one of them to seek transfer to the partner’s cadre. Both state cadres which lose and accept an officer have to agree to this and the officer cannot seek transfer to a home state.
The Parthiban couple hope to buck this rule.