In times of graft, state to bring back oath of integrity for babus

The practice, introduced in 1952 and discontinued in the '80s, is being revived by the government; officials had stumbled upon the original circular concerning the oath while digitising old documents after the 2012 Mantralaya fire

For residents of a state that has been home to the Adarsh, irrigation and Lavasa scams, to name just a few, the fact that all government employees will be asked to take an oath of honesty and integrity will provide some succour.

Representation pic/Thinkstock
Representation pic/Thinkstock

The BJP government seems to have realised this and taken forward the initiative of the previous Congress-NCP government to reintroduce the practice of making state employees pledge to bear allegiance to the Constitution and uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.

The oath was introduced in 1952, when Maharashtra still hadn’t been carved out from the erstwhile Bombay state. It was brought in as all public servants — including the members of union and state cabinets, of Parliament and state legislatures, and of the judiciary and judicial or Constitutional bodies — take oath while assuming charge of their posts.

The practice was gradually discontinued by the 1980s and even senior officials, who were entrusted with the job of administering the oath forgot about it, said a senior state official

Born from flames
It took a fire in Mantralaya in 2012 to remind the government of the practice. While digitising old files after the fire, an official from the state general administration department stumbled upon the circular and the file of the original order regarding the oath, issued in September 1952.

He brought it to the notice of senior officials and the government decided to issue the circular afresh, which was done on Tuesday, November 11. The government has directed all employees to take the oath if they hadn’t done so while joining their service.

The state departments have been asked to make an entry to this effect into the employees’ individual service records and the heads of the respective departments have been told to take the signatures of the employee after the oath is administered.

the pledge

I __________ do swear/solemnly affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to India and to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, and that I will carry out the duties of my office loyally, honestly and with impartiality.

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