DISCIPLINARY AND DEPARTMENTAL INQUIRY – QUICK GUIDE
(This article is subject to updation on regular intervals)
So kindly keep on visiting this page to see updates.
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 read “HOW 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.