Category Archives: Departmental Proceedings

Departmental Enquiry – Quashing of Charge-sheet

The law does not permit quashing of charge-sheet in a routine manner. In case the delinquent employee has any grievance in respect of the charge-sheet, he must raise the issue by filing a representation and wait for the decision of the disciplinary authority thereon. In case the charge-sheet is challenged before a Court/Tribunal on the ground of delay in initiation of disciplinary proceedings or delay in concluding the proceedings, the Court/Tribunal may quash the charge-sheet after considering the gravity of the charge and all relevant factors involved in the case weighing all the facts both for and against the delinquent employee and must reach the conclusion which is just and proper in the circumstance. Shaitan Singh v. Union of India, 2020 (1) AWC 420 (LB).

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During an Enquiry – Employee is Entitled to Subsistence Allowance

An employee is entitled to subsistence allowance during an inquiry pending against him or her but if that employee is starved of finances by zero payment, it would be unreasonable to expect the employee to meaningfully participate in a departmental inquiry. Access to justice is a valuable right available to every person, even to a criminal and indeed free legal representation is provided even to a criminal. In the case of a departmental inquiry, the delinquent is at best guilty of a misconduct but that is no ground to deny access to pension (wherever applicable) or subsistence allowance (wherever applicable). UCO Bank v. R.S. Shukla, 2018 (2) ESC 372.

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Employee – Right to Receive Enquiry Officer’s Report

The Apex Court in the case of Union of India v. Mohd. Ramzan Khan, 1990 (61) FLR 736 and in the case of Managing Director, ECIL v. B. Karunakar, 1993 (67) FLR 1230 has held that where the enquiry officer is not the disciplinary authority, the delinquent employee has a right to receive a copy of the enquiry officer’s report in court before the disciplinary authority arrives at its conclusions with regard to guilt or innocence of the employee with regard to the charges leveled against him. That right is a part of the employee’s right to defend himself against the charges leveled against him. A denial of the enquiry officer’s report before the disciplinary authority takes its decisions on the charges, is a denial of reasonable opportunity to the employee to prove his innocence and is a breach of principles of natural justice. Vijay Kumar Yadav v. State of U.P., 2016 (148) FLR 750.

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Charge-sheet cannot generally be a subject-matter of challenge

Charge-sheet cannot generally be a subject – matter of challenge as it does not adversely affect the rights of the delinquent unless it is established that the same has been issued by an authority not competent to initiate the disciplinary proceedings. Neither the disciplinary proceedings nor the charge – sheet be quashed at an initial stage as it would be a pre-mature stage to deal with the issues. Proceedings are not liable to be quashed on the grounds that proceedings had been initiated at a belated stage or could not be concluded in a reasonable period unless the delay creates prejudice to the delinquent employee. Gravity of alleged misconduct is a relevant factor to be taken into consideration while quashing the proceedings. (Secretary, Ministry of Defence v. Prabhash Chandra Mirdha).

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