DISCIPLINARY AND DEPARTMENTAL INQUIRY – QUICK GUIDE

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DISCIPLINARY AND DEPARTMENTAL INQUIRY – QUICK GUIDE

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INTRODUCTION

The departmental action is so serious a proceeding that keeping in view its adverse effects on the livelihood and reputation of the employee, the Supreme Court observed that even Constitution of India, 1950 (COI) – Article 21 which guarantees right to ife with its human diginity, gets attracted if a fair procedure is not adopted. This is why various procedural safeguards have been provided under various rules and regulations governing the subject. Where, the rules and regulations have failed to provide such safeguards, courts have always brought to the rescue of incumbent the principles of natural justice. Thus it is incumbent upon the disciplinary as well as inquiring authority to observe those principles of natural justice during the conduct of departmental inquiry so as to avoid entire action being declared by the courts as nullity.

(You may also like to readHOW TO EFFECTIVELY DEFEND IN DEPARTMENTAL/DOMESTIC INQUIRY [made easy]”)

Fair Procedure – Pre-requisite requirement

Supreme Court has very categorically held that “it is well settled that a disciplinary inquiry has to be a quasi-judicial inquiry held in accordance to the principles of natural justice and Enquiry Officer has a duty to act judicially.”   Principles of natural justice such as audi alterum partem are thus quite essential pre-requisites of an inquiry.

MAIN STAGES IN DEPARTMENTAL PROCEEDINGS

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

PRINCIPLE OF NATURAL JUSTICE

APPOINTING AUTHORITY/DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITY

MEMORANDUM OF CHARGES

WRITTEN STATEMENT OF DEFENCE

INQUIRY OFFICER – APPOINTMENT

PRESENTING OFFICER

INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS

DEFENCE ASSISTANCE TO DELIQUENT OFFICIAL

PROCEDURE WHERE CRIMINAL CASE AND DEPARTMENTAL ARE ON SAME SET OF FACTS

RECORDING OF EVIDENCE

EX-PARTE PROCEEDINGS

ADJOURNMENTS – HOW TO BE REGULATED

EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE

WRITTEN ARGUMENTS

REPORT OF INQUIRY OFFICER

REPLY OF DELIQUENT OFFICIAL TO REPORT OF INQUIRY OFFICER

PENALTY

APPEAL

REVISION

CHALLENGE IN COURT – GROUNDS

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