Madras High Court: The Division Bench of N. Kirubakaran and B. Pugalendhi, JJ., while addressing the present matter, expressed that,
If the Government servant is not complying with the orders of the Government, the same can be treated as misconduct or as unbecoming of the Government Servant, warranting initiation of appropriate departmental proceedings against them.
Government constituted an Administrative Reforms Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr Justice A.K. Rajan, Retired Judge of Madras High Court to ensure the corruption-free and transparent administration and certain recommendations of the said Committee were also accepted by the Government.
In the above-stated recommendations, one of the recommendations was with regard to fixing accountability on every Government Servant, at every stage at every level.
It was also noted that even though the Government Order was passed in the year 2010, none of the departments had taken any effective steps to implement the said Government Order.
Every Government Servant is expected to act in accordance with the Acts, Rules and the Government Orders issued by the Government then and there.
If the Secretary Level Officers have not complied with the orders of the Government, how we can expect a common citizen to comply with the orders of the Government.
Further, the Court added that only on Court’s direction, Government had sent reminders to the respective Departments for implementation of the G.O based on the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Committee. Even thereafter, only a few Departments responded with certain Circulars or some Administrative Instructions in a vague manner without implementing the said Government Order in true letter and spirit.
“Ignorantia legis neminem excusat” – Ignorance of law excuses no one. Even a common man cannot plead that he is ignorant of law of the Government. When that is the position for a common man, what would be the responsibility of the Secretary Level Officers.
High Court observed that if the Government Orders are utterly disobeyed by the Secretary Level Officers in such a manner, then who can be expected to obey the Government Orders.
In view of the above discussion, Bench stated that it expected a positive response from the State Government on the possibility of amending the existing relevant Government Service Rules, for effective implementation of G.O.(Ms)No. 24, Personnel and Administrative Department, dated 17-02-2010 and to report before this Court. [A.P. Suryaprakasam v. State of T.N., 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 5981, decided on 18-12-2020]