State Public Service Commission – Constitutional Bodies

State Public Service Commission

Articles (i.e., 315 to 323 in Part XIV) of the Constitution also deals with the composition, appointment, and removal of members, power and functions, and independence of an SPSC.

Composition:

    1. A State Public Service Commission consists of a chairman and other members
    2. Appointed by the governor of the state. 
    3.  No qualifications are prescribed for the commission’s membership except that one-half of the members of the 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.
    4. The Constitution also authorizes the governor to determine the conditions of service of the chairman and members of the Commission.
    5. The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier (in the case of UPSC, the age limit is 65 years). 
    6. Resignation to the governor.

Removal

  1. Appointed by the governor, but removed only by the president (and not by the governor).
  2. Removal will be on the same grounds and in the same manner, of the UPSC.      
  3. The president can remove the chairman and members of SPSC for misbehavior. In this case, the president has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court (not High Court) for an inquiry. 
  4. Under the provisions of the Constitution, the advice tendered by the Supreme Court in this regard is binding on the president.
  5. During the course of an inquiry by the Supreme Court, the governor can suspend the concerned chairman or member.

Independence:

  1. The chairman or a member of a SPSC can be removed from office by the president only in the manner and on the grounds mentioned in the Constitution. 
  2. The conditions of service of the chairman or a member, though determined by the governor, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  3. The entire expense including the salaries, allowances, and pensions of the chairman and members of a SPSC are charged on the consolidated fund of the state. Thus, they are not subject to vote of the state legislature.
  4. The chairman or a member of a SPSC is (after having completed his first term) not eligible for reappointment to that office (that is, not eligible for second term).
  5. The chairman of a SPSC (on ceasing to hold office) is eligible for appointment as the chairman or a member of the UPSC or as the chairman of any other SPSC, (but not for any other employment under the GOI or a state).

Role:

  1. It conducts examinations for appointments to the services of the state.
  2. The suitability of candidates for appointments to civil service and posts; for promotions and transfers from one service to another; and appointments by transfer or deputation. The concerned departments make recommendations for promotion and request the SPSC to ratify them.
  3. Any other matter related to the personnel management.
  4. The SPSC presents, annually, to the GOVERNOR a report on its performance. The governor places this report before both the Houses of the state legislature.
  5. The Constitution visualizes the SPSC to be the ‘watchdog of the merit system in the state.
  6. The role of SPSC is not only limited, but also recommendations made by it are only of advisory nature and hence, not binding on government.

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