The Centre has modified the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, to prohibit retired employees from disseminating documents connected to their former departments or any “sensitive information” after retirement without prior approval.
It prohibits retired officials from sharing “sensitive material” that “might jeopardise India’s sovereignty and integrity, security, geopolitical, scientific, or economic interests, or relationship with a foreign state, or lead to incitement of a crime.” The announcement stated, “The Head of the Organization shall have the ability to decide whether the proposed content for publishing is sensitive or non-sensitive, and if it fits within the jurisdiction of the organisation.”
The change was made to Rule 8, which deals with ‘Pension subject to future good conduct,’ meaning that any infraction of the new rule might endanger a retired officer’s pension.
While a 2008 amendment to the pension rules merely made explicit existing restrictions under the Official Secrets Act and ordinary criminal law by prohibiting retired officials from writing about “sensitive information” that would “prejudice the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific, or economic interests of the State… or lead to incitement of an offence… or lead to incitement of an offence ” the new notification widens the ambit of the gag order considerably….”
The word “publishing” is already defined in the new set of rules as “communication to the press or electronic media or… publication of any book, letter, pamphlet, poster, or other document, in whatever form.”