The role of politicians and government officers should be clearly defined and separated, former bureaucrats said at a panel discussion organised in Delhi today.
The discussion comes nearly two months after Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted by leaders of Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party during a midnight meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence here.
The alleged attack on February 19 had led to mistrust between the bureaucracy and the political leadership in Delhi and also hit day-to-day governance in the national capital.
Today's discussion was themed 'Relationship between Elected Representatives (including Political Executive) and Indian Civil Services Evolving a Code of Conduct'.
The Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar & Islands Civil Services (DANICS) and the Delhi Government Employees Welfare Association were among the forums that had boycotted the meetings called by Kejriwal and his Cabinet until they apologise to Prakash. The matter was later resolved amicably.
At the panel discussion, former bureaucrat Bhure Lal said there was a need to define the role of bureaucrats and politicians, otherwise bureaucrats will remain "silent sufferers".
"We (the bureaucrats) are here to carry out orders that are constitutional. The order of the chief minister is not emanating from the Constitution. Politicians cannot have an upper hand," Lal, the chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, said.
He said there are many seasoned ministers who value the opinion and suggestion of bureaucrats, but difficulties arise with those who come to power for the first or the second time, apparently referring to Kejriwal, who became the Delhi chief minister for the second time in February 2015.
Saigal said the relationship has to be symbiotic and certain provisions should be there to defend the rights of bureaucrats, who have to put up with the ire of politicians.
He said if bureaucrats are abused or intimidated by politicians, they should be protected by the government.
Former Uttar Pradesh DGP Vikram Singh said bureaucrats have not joined the service to be "brutalised".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)