Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 26 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan
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C.C.S. (C.C.A.) RULES, 1965 – PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
COMMENCEMENT OF PENAL ACTION FOR MISCONDUCT
I. Preliminary investigation - Purpose
1. Whenever a report or complaint is received against the conduct of a Government servant, a preliminary investigation is conducted to find out whether an offence has taken place and, if so, whether the Government servant concerned is prima facie involved in it.
2. During the course of such investigation, all available evidences and relevant documents are collected. Written statements are also obtained from the witnesses. Such an investigation may be held ex parte, i.e., in the absence of the officer against whom the complaint has been received.
3. However, depending on circumstances, he may be given an opportunity to explain his position, which may render the regular inquiry proceedings unnecessary.
4. Sources of information about misconduct, corruption, etc.
Complaints are the main source of information about corruption, misconduct, etc. They may be received from
(i) Members of public;
(ii) Public Association/Organization;
(iii) Members of Parliament/ Legislative Assembly;
(iv) Government servants,
(v) Press Reports, etc.
Anonymous or pseudonymous complaints are not ordinarily acted upon.
5. The preliminary enquiry is in the nature of a "fact-finding enquiry". The investigation report along with the preliminary evidences collected is examined by the appropriate authority to come to a decision whether a prima facie case exists for instituting criminal prosecution or formal disciplinary proceedings.
6. At that stage, the question to be decided is not whether the Government servant complained against is guilty or not of the allegation. It has to be considered whether a prima facie case exists of the reported offence/misconduct/misdemeanor/dereliction of duty.
7. The main purpose is to find out whether an offence has actually taken place, and, so, whether the Government servant is prima facie involved in it. If there is prima facie evidence of commission of criminal offence beyond reasonable doubt, initiation of criminal prosecution is to be considered.
8. In other cases, involving less serious offences or involving malpractices of a departmental nature, departmental disciplinary proceedings should be resorted to.
9. Proceedings can be initiated not only for the violation of the provisions of CCS (Conduct) Rules, but also for the misconduct which falls outside the Government servant's official functions if it reflects on his reputation for good faith, honesty, integrity and devotion to duty.
10. Appropriate disciplinary action may be called for even in cases where there is no loss of public funds, but the Government servant's conduct speaks of bad conduct. Cases of shortage or loss due to theft, fraud, negligence, financial irregularity –