212 Kaveri, 7th ‘A’ Main
Ph No. (080)23386661 Mobile (0)9448880921
Deputy Secretary (V.III), DOPT,
Room No.10-B11i North Block
I wish to invite your attention to GOI., DOPT Notice F.No.3721312007-AVD.III, inviting suggestions comments for consideration by the Committee of Experts for review of Disciplinary Proceedings. As I have gained some knowledge on disciplinary proceedings because of my long association for more than two decades I felt like giving some suggestions which may be considered as relevant by the committee. The suggestions is attached in the form of note for your consideration.
Bangalore Yours faithfully
Committee of Experts for examination to expedite the process involved in
1.The constitution of Experts Committee to examine and suggest measures to expedite the process involved in Disciplinary/Vigilance Proceedings is a welcome move by the Government.
2.The undersigned having attended number of Disciplinary/Vigilance Proceedings in various Departments and Autonomous Bodies following CCS(CCA) Rules and also in CVC in various capacities and maximum being as Defence Assistant I have gained some experience and also an in sight which causes delay in the disciplinary proceedings. With that experience I am sending this note for the consideration of the committee
3.The experience has taught that inordinate delay after the disciplinary proceedings starts is at the stage of verification of documents. This delay mainly occurs in making available the additional documents requisitioned to the Inquiry Officer by controlling officer or custodian of those documents. This delays can be reduced if the Disciplinary Authority brings in all relevant documents and evidence on record to know the truth of the imputations. Though Rule 14(2) prescribes that the purpose of inquiry is to find the truth of imputation of misconduct or misbehaviour against the Government servant and su rule 3(ii) provides for bringing all relevant facts on record, in practice the most of Das are interested in some how prove the imputation against the Government servant rather than finding the truth ensure that all facts which are relevant to the charges which may go in favuor of the Government servant are suppressed. This forces the charged officer to requisition those records as additional documents. Therefore a provision has to be made in the rules and also the DAs should advised to bring all relevant evidence and documents on record even if it is favourable to the Government as the purpose of inquiry is to find the truth. Similarly a time limit should be included in the rules to provide the requisitioned records by the controlling officers or custodians of the records. In fact in RTI Act there is time limit of 30 days for providing the records. Similar time limit can be considered in the inquiry proceedings also.
4.Another area is inordinate delay on the part of Disciplinary Authority to take a decision on the inquiry report. The undersigned had come across a case where the Disciplinary Authority took eight years to take a decision o the report. Though the charged officer was exonerated delay in taking final decision by deprived him of occupying many positions in the department for which he had been eligible and found to be fit also. To avoid such instances and also reasonable delay it is necessary to make provisions for prescribing maximum period by which DA must mandatorily take final decision on the inquiry report.
5.The suggestions given in the background note regarding penalties is welcome. Now the rules provide total liza-fire to the DA in deciding the quantum of punishment. These powers the DAs apply with proper discretion. Not only that the powers of discretion is being utilized for discrimination. This has resulted many times the judiciary to intervene and struck down the punishment as disproportion to alleged misconduct or misbehaiviour. Therefore broad parameters regarding quantum of punishment and misconduct should be considered for incorporation in the rules.
6.Another area that requires consideration is regarding the appointment of inquiry officers. Many a times it is common knowledge that many inquiry officers have know proper knowledge of the procdure and rules. This also causes lot of delay in the proceedings. The officers who are likely to be given such assignment should be properly trained and a panel of such expert officers for conducting the inquiry can be drawn up. It is also better if IOs are drawn form intra department panel of experts to conduct the inquiry.
Sr.Audit Officer(Retd), I.A. &A.D
212, Kaveri 7th ‘A’ Main