New Delhi: The Centre will not consider the lockdown period for diverse purposes, including review of a suspension order before its expiry and accepting voluntary retirement notices by central government employees, according to a Personnel Ministry Order dated March 30.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the nationwide lockdown last week to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that has claimed 32 lives and infected over 1,000 people in the country.
Consequent upon the outbreak of COVID-19 and considering the unprecedented situation of the lockdown, with effect from March 24, it may not be feasible to adhere to the timelines prescribed in the Central Civil Services (classification control and appeal) Rules, 1965 and the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, it said.
For example, if the due date for completing a process, work or event at the start of the lockdown falls after 20 days, then the due date will get postponed by the number of lockdown days and the same number (20) of days will be available to complete the work after the lockdown is lifted, the ministry said.
However, after the lockdown is lifted, if the time left to complete the task is less than 15 days, then the processes may be allowed to be completed within 15 days, it said.
The time limits have been prescribed for the review of the order of suspension before its expiry, submission of written statement of defence on the charge sheet by the charged officer and for issuance of charge sheet once a decision is taken by the disciplinary authority to initiate disciplinary proceedings, the ministry said.
There are time limits for completion of inquiry and submission of report by the inquiring authority and acceptance of notice of voluntary retirement, among others. In addition, timelines may have been prescribed for receipt of applications for direct recruitment, deputation, etc, it said.
Where the last date of receipt of application for direct recruitment, deputation etc. fall within the period of the lockdown, the last date shall be extended by the number of days of the lockdown, the ministry said in the order issued to all central government departments.
“Similarly, the time limits prescribed in the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964, for various purposes shall also be extended by the number of days of the lockdown,’ it said.