- A State Public Service Commission consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the governor of the state. The Constitution does not specify the strength of the Commission but has left the matter to the discretion of the Governor.
- Further, qualifications are prescribed for the commission’s membership except that one-half no 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.
- The Constitution also authorises the governor to determine the conditions of service of the chairman and members of the Commission.
- 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). However, they can relinquish their offices at any time by addressing their resignation to the governor.
- The governor can appoint one of the members of the SPSC as an acting chairman in the following two circumstances”:
- When the office of the chairman falls vacant
- When the chairman is unable to perform his functions due to absence or some other reason.
The acting chairman functions till the person appointed as chairman enters on the duties of the office or till the chairman is able to resume his duties.
Although the chairman and members of a SPSC are appointed by the governor, they can be removed only by the president (and not by the governor). The president can remove them on the same grounds and in the same manner as he can remove a chairman or a member of the UPSC. Thus, he can remove him under the following circumstances:
- If he is adjudged an insolvent (i.e. has gone bankrupt); or
- If he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
- 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 SPSC for misbehaviour. However, in this case, the president has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for an enquiry. If the Supreme Court, after the enquiry, upholds the cause of removal and advises so, the president can remove the chairman or a member. Under the provisions of the Constitution, the advice tendered by the Supreme Court in this regard is binding on the president.
However, during the course of enquiry by the Supreme Court, the governor can suspend the concerned chairman or member.
- 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. Therefore, they enjoy the security of tenure.
- The conditions of service of the chair- man or a member, though determined by the governor, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
- 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.
- 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 Government of India or a state.
- A member 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 that SPSC or any other SPSC, but not for any other employment under the Government of India or a state.
- 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).
Joint State Public service commission:
- JSPSC is a statutory and not a constitutional body. The two states of Punjab and Haryana had a JSPSC for a short period, after the creation of Haryana out of Punjab in 1966.
- The chairman and members of a JSPSC are appointed by the president. They hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier. They can be suspended or removed by the president. They can also resign from their offices at any time by submitting their resignation letters to the president.
- The number of members of a JSPSC and their conditions of service are determined by the president.
- A JSPSC presents its annual performance report to each of the concerned state governors. Each governor places the report before the state legislature.
- The UPSC can also serve the needs of a state on the request of the state governor and with the approval of the president.