Govt broadens rules to bar retired officials from publishing sensitive information

The Centre has amended its rules barring officers who had worked in intelligence and security related organisations from publishing sensitive information by adding new clauses, including the conditions that they can’t share any material on “domain of the organisation” and its personnel.

The Central Civil Services (Pension) Amendment Rules, 2021, dated May 31 and notified late Tuesday, also states that they need to take prior permission from the “head of the organization” for publishing such material. In the earlier 2007 rules, permission was to be taken from the head of the department.

All employees would have to give an undertaking to the head of organisation that they would not publish such information failing which pension can be “withheld or withdrawn”, the amendment states.

According to the Central Civil Services (Pension) Amendment Rules 2007 that was notified in March 2008, all such employees are already barred from publishing any sensitive information, “the disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India”.The amended provision now reads, “No government servant, who, having worked in any intelligence or security-related organization…shall, without prior clearance from the head of the organisation, make any publication after retirement, of any material relating to and including domain of the organisation, including any reference or information about any personnel and his designation, and expertise or knowledge gained by virtue of working in that organization”.

There was no mention of domain of the organisation and reference to any personnel in the 2007 rules.”Domain may be taken to mean core area or core areas of the working of an organisation,” an official explained.

The head of the organisation will decide whether the proposed material for publication is sensitive or non-sensitive, and whether it falls in the domain of the organization, according to the amended rules.

The 2007 rules had barred the employees from publishing material including “sensitive information, the disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state, or relation with a foreign state or which would lead to incitement of an offence” after their retirement.

The rules apply to employees who retire from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Aviation Research Centre, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, National Security Guards, Central Industrial Security Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police among others.

The list also includes the Narcotics Control Bureau, Special Frontier Force, Special Protection Group and Financial Intelligence Unit.

The CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, which have been amended to make way for 2007 and 2021 rules, however, don’t apply to officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) among others. The CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 apply to those appointed on or before December 31, 2003.

Editor JK News Updates

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