Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 28 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan

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Jul 15, 20210 comments

     Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 28 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan

 


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Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 27


C.C.S. (C.C.A.) RULES, 1965 – PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

(Selective Judgments )

1.      The preliminary investigation/enquiry is held when a complaint is received against a particular worker that he has committed a misconduct, but it is doubtful whether the complaint is true or not and it is desired that some investigation should be made to decide whether to proceed with the complaint or to drop the same. Sometimes, even when it is known that some misconduct is committed, it may not be known as to who has committed the same for example, in case of theft, sabotage, damage to property. In such misconducts, it can only be found out after investigation whether any person can be said to be responsible and whether there is sufficient material to proceed against him.

The object of preliminary investigation is not to punish an employee but only to decide whether a regular inquiry proceeding to punish him should be initiated.

[Champaklal v. Union of India, AIR 1964 SC 1584.]

2.      An employee cannot be punished on the basis of preliminary inquiry report

An officer cannot be punished on the findings of a preliminary investigation, without holding a disciplinary action after serving a charge sheet.

[Amalendu Ghosh v. N.E.F. Railway, AIR 1960 SC 992.]

3.      Preliminary inquiry is not quasi-judicial in character

The preliminary inquiry is not governed by the provisions of Article 311(2) of the Constitution.

[A.G.Benjamin v. Union of India, (1967) 1 LLJ 718; (1967) 15 FLR 347 (S.C.)]

4.      Preliminary inquiry may be held behind the back of the accused Government servant (ex parte)

If a confidential inquiry is made of preliminary nature for initiating disciplinary proceedings then the accused employee is not entitled to any show-cause notice.

[R.P. Sinha v. State of Bihar 1983 Lab IC 700 (Patna).]

5.      A preliminary enquiry to frame the charges can be held ex parte

(Nagendra Kumar Roy v. Port Commissioner, Calcutta, AIR 1955 Cal. 56.]

If the Superintendent of Police received an anonymous complaint against one of the subordinates and he wanted to find out before dropping out the matter whether it had any vestige of truth, then he was not bound to hold an inquiry in the presence of the subordinate officer.

[Md. Umar v. I.G. Police, (1957) 2 LLJ 470; AIR 1957 ALL. 767.]

6.    In such inquiries the delinquent has no right to be questioned about any material gathered at this stage. He has also no right to say that he is being condemned behind his back because he is not being condemned at all; but what is being done is that the superior authority is endeavouring for its own satisfaction whether there is any justification for holding a regular inquiry.

[Bhanu Prasad v. State, AIR 1956 Sau.14; Md. Shareef v. Onkar Singh, AIR 1957 All. 217.]

7.      Though it might be necessary in such inquiries to get the explanation of Government servant also, he has no right to be associated with the preliminary inquiry either under the rules or the principles of natural justice.

[Ram Singh v. State of Punjab, 67 FLR 763.]

8.      Since preliminary inquiry can be held ex parte no one is bound to attend preliminary inquiry against him. If he does not attend it, then it can be held ex parte and the person concerned will have to bear the consequences. It cannot, however, be said that he was guilty of wilful. disobedience or of an act subversive of discipline.

[Calcutta Port Commissioner v. Workmen Gaz. of India, Pt. 2.5.3.(ii), dated the 25th January, 1964.]

9.      Preliminary inquiry is not a must

Even though the rules provide for a preliminary inquiry that is of a very informal type to enable the Superintendent to decide whether on the materials before him, any further action is worthwhile, but when the facts are not in dispute, the omission to hold preliminary inquiry will not be fatal to subsequent proceedings. The preliminary inquiry is not in the interest of the delinquent officer but for the satisfaction of the Department.

[A.N. Singh v. Addl. Supdt. of Police, AIR 1960 All. 304]

10.   Preliminary inquiry is no substitute for departmental inquiry

An officer holding a preliminary inquiry may observe the principles of natural justice and permit the charged employee to cross-examine the employer's witnesses and also to produce his defence. Even though full opportunity might have been given to the charged employee at the preliminary stage it does not waive the requirement of affording the said opportunity after a formal charge-sheet is given and it cannot be said to be merely a duplication and is not, therefore, necessary. A formal departmental inquiry becomes unnecessary only if the delinquent employee makes a full confession during preliminary stage, otherwise the formal inquiry cannot be dispensed with.

[J.N. Biswas v. Superintendent of Police, AIR 1954 Cal. 383; Meghraj V. State AIR 1956 Raj. 28 (DB).]

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