State Public Service Commission: Powers, Functions and Responsibilities
- The State Public Service Commission is also a constitutional body. There is a State Public Service Commission in every state.
- The same set of Articles (i.e., 315 to 323) of the Constitution also deal with the composition, appointment and removal of members, power and functions and independence of a State Public Service Commission.
- UPSC/SPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by President/Governor.
- UPSC- consists of 9-11-members including the chairman-(SPSC Constitution does not specify).
- No qualifications are prescribed for Commission’s membership except that one-half of the members of Commission should be such persons who have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the government of a state.
- Constitution also authorises President/Governor to determine conditions of service of chairman and other members of Commission.
- Chairman and members of Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 62years. (UPSC-65 Years)
- Addressing their resignation to president/Governor.
- They can also be removed before the expiry of their term by the president in the manner provided in Constitution.
- President/Governor- can appoint one of the members of UPSC/SPSC as an acting chairman in the following two circumstances:
(a) When the office of chairman falls vacant; or
(b) When the chairman is unable to perform his functions due to absence or some other reason.
- Acting chairman functions till a person appointed as chairman enters on duties of office or till chairman is able to resume his duties.
- They can be removed only by the president (and not by the governor).
- President can remove the chairman or any other member of UPSC/SPSC from office under the following circumstances:- Same for UPSC+ SPSC
(a) If he is adjudged an insolvent (that is, has gone bankrupt);
(b) If he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
(c) If he is, in the opinion of the president, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
- In addition to these, the president can also remove the chairman or any other member of UPSC/SPSC for misbehaviour.
- In this case, the president has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for an enquiry.
- Advise tendered by Supreme Court in this regard is binding on the president.
- During the course of an enquiry by the Supreme Court, Governor (Not president) can suspend chairman or member of UPSC.
Independent & Impartial functioning
- Chairman or Member-> UPSC/SPSC can be removed from office by the president only in the manner and on grounds mentioned in Constitution.
- Service of the chairman or a member, though determined by the Governor, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
- Entire expenses including the salaries, allowances and pensions of the chairman and members of the SPSC are charged on the Consolidated Fund of State.
- Chairman of SPSC->UPSC-> is not eligible for further employment in Centre or state.
- Is eligible for -> as chairman or a member of UPSC or as the chairman of any other SPSC.
- Member of SPSC->UPSC is eligible for appointment as chairman of UPSC or a State Public Service Commission (SPSC).- SPSC is eligible for appointment as the chairman or a member of the UPSC, or as the chairman of that SPSC or any other SPSC.
- But not for any other employment in the Government of India or a state.
- Chairman or a Member or SPSC is not eligible for reappointment to that office (i.e., not eligible for the second term).
- Conducts examinations for appointments to – services of the state.
- All matters relating to methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts.
- Principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and posts and in making promotions and transfers from one service to another.
- Matters related to grant of extension of service and re-employment of certain retired civil servants.
- Jurisdiction of SPSC can be extended by an act made by State Legislature.
- SPSC presents, annually, to the Governor a report on its performance.
- President places this report before both the Houses of -> both the Houses of the state legislature
Outside jurisdiction of the SPSC
- Making reservations of appointments– Backward class/ SC/ ST.
- Claims of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in making appointments to services and posts.
- Governor can exclude posts, services and matters from purview – SPSC.
- But Constitution states that- all such regulations made by the governor shall be laid before each House of the state legislature for at least 14 days.
- The state legislature can amend or repeal them.
- Watch-dog of merit system’.
- The role of SPSC is not only limited but also recommendations made by it are only of advisory nature and hence, not binding on the government.
- The emergence of the State Vigilance Commission (SVC) in 1964 affected the role of SPSC in disciplinary matters- Conflicting advise.
- SPSC, being an independent constitutional body, has an edge over the SVC, which is created by an executive resolution of the Government of State and conferred a statutory status