The Narendra Modi government has reportedly decided to compulsorily retire senior officials ten years in advance if they are found to be inefficient or have a bad reputation.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), headed by the prime minister, sent guidelines to all ministries last Friday to identify such officers.

"The services of those government officials which are no longer useful to the general administration or whose integrity and reputation is doubtful, must be compulsorily retired from service," the DoPT said.

The development comes after Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha met with senior officers of different ministries on 10 August. The meeting was held to discuss the strengthening of the appraisal system of officers under the existing rule FR 56 (J), The Economic Times reported.

The rule says that the performance of Group A and B officials who are over 50 years of age and junior officials who are 55 years must be reviewed. After the performance appraisal, a decision can be taken on compulsorily retirement of such officials before the actual retirement age of 60 years.

To strictly implement the rule that has rarely been used in the past, the government has re-appointed review committees to examine cases of officers who are over 50 or 55 years of age, as the case may be. The reviews will have to be completed before the officers reach the age of 50 or 55, depending on their grade.

"Integrity of an employee, action or decisions taken by the employee which do no appear to be above board, complaints received against him or suspicious property transactions, for which sufficient evidence may not be there to initiate departmental proceedings should be the factors considered to decide on prematurely retiring an officer," the DoPT said, citing Supreme Court judgments.

"Similarly, reports of conduct unbecoming of a government servant may also form basis for compulsorily retirement," the DoPT said, citing a 2002 SC judgement that said the government possesses "absolute right" to compulsorily retire an official who "obstructs the efficiency in public services."

"For better administration, it is necessary to chop off dead wood," the DoPT said, citing another ruling by SC made in 2001.