Defence statement in rule14

This query is : Resolved 
 

(Querist)
05 November 2013

Dear Sir,

I am a central government employee working in the department of Posts, India.
I was made over the suspension order after working hours on 31.01.13 by my disciplinary authority which is not the appointing authority of my present post with the subject :-
A disciplinary proceeding against -- - is contemplated and kept under suspension with immediate effect vide sub rule- (1) of Rule 10 of CCS(CCA) Rules, 1965.
For kind information no prior explanation was called for.
Again on 22.02.13 I was revoked vide sub-rule(5) of Rule 10 of the CCS(CCA) Rules 1965 and I resumed the duty at the afternoon on 22.02.13.


After 271 days I received the chargesheet on the charge that I failed to maintain devotion to duty and acted in a manner which is unbecoming of a Govt Servant as required under Rule- 3(1)(ii) and 3(1)(iii) of CCS(Conduct) Rules-1964.

The fact was like this :-

That I am acting as Supervisor of an office and I could not relieve a subordinate though he had been granted Earned Leave by my disciplinary authority, received through email and that was due to pressure of work and I replied through email like " It is for kind information that as one of the 3 assistants has been on training and only 2 assistants are working the said Sri XXX cannot be relieved on office arrangement".

Now my disc. authority has chargesheeted me and directed me in that memo. to submit within 10 days a written statement of his defence and also to state whether I desire to be heard in person.

So can U kindly help me what statement I have to submit and what is the severity of the case.

With regards


Raj Kumar MakkadOnline (Expert)
05 November 2013

The charge-sheet is very weak in the given facts. You shall have to reply it through a lawyer so that the language of the reply may be in legal sense.

Sudhir KumarOnline (Expert)
05 November 2013

charge sheet may not be weak but your description does not disclose the full facts.

Other issues are being seperately replied.

Sudhir KumarOnline (Expert)
05 November 2013



I am a central government employee working in the department of Posts, India.
I was made over the suspension order after working hours on 31.01.13 by my disciplinary authority

ANS : NOTHING ILLEGAL

which is not the appointing authority of my present post with the subject :-
A disciplinary proceeding against -- - is contemplated and kept under suspension with immediate effect vide sub rule- (1) of Rule 10 of CCS(CCA) Rules, 1965.


ANS : NOTHING UNUSUAL



For kind information no prior explanation was called for.


ANS : NO EXPLANATION IS REQUIRED


Again on 22.02.13 I was revoked vide sub-rule(5) of Rule 10 of the CCS(CCA) Rules 1965 and I resumed the duty at the afternoon on 22.02.13.


ANS : NOTHING UNUSUAL



After 271 days I received the chargesheet on the charge that I failed to maintain devotion to duty and acted in a manner which is unbecoming of a Govt Servant as required under Rule- 3(1)(ii) and 3(1)(iii) of CCS(Conduct) Rules-1964.


ANS : YOU ARE NOT INTIMATING OF CHARGESHEET IS UNDER RULE 14 OR 16



The fact was like this :-

That I am acting as Supervisor of an office and I could not relieve a subordinate though he had been granted Earned Leave by my disciplinary authority, received through email and that was due to pressure of work and I replied through email like " It is for kind information that as one of the 3 assistants has been on training and only 2 assistants are working the said Sri XXX cannot be relieved on office arrangement".


ANS : THE PER-SE THERE IS A DISOBEDENCE. A WELL EARNED CHARGESHEET


Now my disc. authority has chargesheeted me and directed me in that memo. to submit within 10 days a written statement of his defence and also to state whether I desire to be heard in person.


ANS : THE PER-SE THERE IS A DISOBEDENCE. A WELL EARNED CHARGESHEET


So can U kindly help me what statement I have to submit and what is the severity of the case.



ANS : ANYONE HAVING SLIGHTEST SYMPATHY WITH YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT ANY ADVISE WITHOUT SEEING PAPERS.


The matter is not so simple that online advise can help you. Meet some knowledgeable person with papers and only then reply.



Rajendra K Goyal Online (Expert)
05 November 2013

Agree, the decision may result in major penalty. Contact your association person having sufficient experience in dealing of departmental disciplinary cases.

R.K NandaOnline (Expert)
05 November 2013

nothing to add more.

Sudhir KumarOnline (Expert)
05 November 2013

I further add that association office bearers have many tasks of staff welfare and have no time to learn CCS(CC&A) Rules and they generally have basic knowledge only.

P. Venu Online (Expert)
06 November 2013

It is not necessary that a detailed statement be given at this stage. You may submit a defence statement denying the charge and to the effect that "the delay in relieving the officer was not willful and that the position apprised was factual."

The plea of pressure of work amounts to alibi and hence may be avoided.

On the face of the facts disclosed,you have a good defence in terms of second proviso to Rule 9 of the Conduct Rules.

malipeddi jaggaraoOnline (Expert)
06 November 2013

Have you contested that your suspension from service even for brief period is illegal?. The department does not have any ground for suspension in the given case.
As regards charge sheet, unless all the relevant papers are seen nobody can give you proper advice. According to me refering the matter to your union leaders will not fetch any positive result. You can send all the scanned copies to me so that after looking into the papers if at all I can guide you, i will do that. Alternatively, go to an advocate and got the reply prepared. In any case you have to disclose the full facts and all papers should be made available for proper guidance.

Anirudh (Expert)
06 November 2013

Dear Mr. Venu,
Rule 9 of the conduct rules relate to Criticism of Govt.
Therefore I am just wondering how any of the provisions of that Rule will be of any help to the querist.

Rajendra K Goyal Online (Expert)
06 November 2013

Sudhir Kumar ji,

Sir, Humbly submitted that in departmental inquiry proceedings private lawyer is not allowed in general and association people defend their employee. If the reply of charge sheet is prepared by some advocate it would result ego problem with the association people and may not defend effectively. More over they negotiate with the disciplinary authority also and can get the punishment diluted.

Due to above factors I submitted my advise.

The reply to charge sheet may be got prepared by some knowledgeable person and got approved by the person whom he want to be defended in inquiry proceedings.

Sudhir KumarOnline (Expert)
07 November 2013

It is not association person. He can seek representation through any serving/retired employee of any deptt.


But the querirst is not even showing if c/s is under rule 14 or 16 or whether if unde rule 16 whether he is requesting for inqiry.

Amaresh Patel (Querist)
07 November 2013

It is under Rule-14 of CCS(CCA)Rules.

Sudhir KumarOnline (Expert)
08 November 2013

In that case it is irrelevant what reply you submit and whether at all you submit a reply or not. The case is not going to be dropped on the basis of your reply (does not matter how much stationary you waste on the same).

The disciplinary authority will only read one sentence out of your reply as to whether you admit or refute the charge THAT IS HARD REALITY.



In any case Inquiry is imminent (unless you admit c charge unconditionally and willing to received any penalty from censure to dismissal).


When inquiry is there you have a right to be defended through any serving/retired central/state govt employee of your choice. He can be even Association office bearer.

It will be better to meet such serving /retired employee immediately and react as per his advise only.

Amaresh Patel (Querist)
09 November 2013

Thank U Sir.

P. Venu Online (Expert)
09 November 2013

Disciplinary proceedings could be dropped after considering the written statement of defence, as clarified by the Government of decision under Rule 14 of the CCS(CCA) Rules as below:

(12) Whether charges can be dropped at the stage of initial written statement of defence :-

A question has been under consideration whether Rule 14 (5) (a) of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 permits the dropping of charges by the disciplinary authority after considering the written statement of defence submitted by the accused Government servant under Rule 14 (4) ibid. The question has been considered in consultation with the Ministry of Law and the position is clarified as under :-

(a) The disciplinary authority has the inherent power to review and modify the articles of charge or drop some of the charges or all the charges after the receipt and examination of the written statement of defence submitted by the accused Government servant under Rule 14 (4) of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965.

(b) The disciplinary authority is not bound to appoint an Inquiry Officer for conducting an inquiry into the charges which are not admitted by the accused official but about which the disciplinary authority is satisfied on the basis of the written statement of defence that there is no further cause to proceed with.

2. It may, however, be noted that the exercise of powers to drop the charges after the consideration of the written statement of defence by the accused Government servant will be subject to the following conditions :-

(a) In cases arising out of investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the CBI should be consulted before a decision is taken to drop any of, or all the charges on the basis of the written statement of defence submitted by the accused Government servant. The reasons recorded by the disciplinary authority for dropping the charges should also be intimated to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

(b) The Central Vigilance Commission should be consulted where the disciplinary proceedings were initiated on the advice of the Commission and the intention is to drop or modify any of, or all the charges on the basis of the written statement of defence submitted by the accused Government servant.

[G.I., MHA OM No. 11012/2/79-Estt.(A) dated the 12th March, 1981 and OM No. 11012/8/82-Estt.(A) dated the 8th December, 1982]

As such, the Disciplinary Authority is required to examine the Written Statement and take an informed decision either to drop the proceedings or to conduct further inquiry.

The information, as per the narration of the queriest, leaves no doubt that the suspension was highhanded and the charge-sheet misconceived. No one is required to do the impossible. And it is no misconduct that he reported the factual position, in view of the prevailing staff availability. On the contrary it shows that the queriest to be fully devoted to his duty as his primary responsibility is towards the unit he is in charge and its proper functioning. This is all the more relevant since he is in charge of a Post Office and has to take care of the public on a minute to minute basis. It would have been lack of devotion of duty and act unbecoming of a public servant had he followed the dictate of the superior knowing fully well that such an action would result in disarray in the functioning of the unit he is in charge.

By explaining the factual position he has only provided a bonafide and positive feedback. A public servant has got the absolute right to provide his opinion in official correspondence. In this context, proviso to Rule 9 is significant. Though public servant is prohibited in criticizing public policy, he can apprise his official superior of his concerns thereof.

In the instant case, revocation of the suspension order after the brief spell of less than a month speaks of the complete non-application of the mind on the part of the authority concerned.

Raj Kumar MakkadOnline (Expert)
09 November 2013

I strongly stand with P. Venu. Though public servant is prohibited in criticizing public policy, he can apprise his official superior of his concerns thereof.

Sudhir KumarOnline (Expert)
09 November 2013

I also fully agree with the view of Mr P Venu that disciplinary proceedings theoretically CAN BE dropped at this stage in terms of G.I., MHA OM No. 11012/2/79-Estt.(A) dated the 12th March, 1981 and OM No. 11012/8/82-Estt.(A) dated the 8th December, 1982.


BUT BUT BUT

sorry I have not seen even a single case where proceedings were dropped in rule 14 just on the considering explanation of the charged official.


Unfortunately there is also no practice and procedure for passing a speaking order on the rejection of such reply while ordering inquiry. Appendices to CCS(CC&A) Rules provide stereotype language of ordering inquiry


THAT IS THE HARD REALITY WHICH HE HAS TO LIVE WITH.



Sudhir KumarOnline (Expert)
09 November 2013

I also further tend to agree with Mr Venu that the suspension (made quickly and revoked quicky even before charge sheet) may not have been warranted in this case (as per facts so far disclosed)

But such issue need to be raised only when the proceedings result without major penalty. Disciplinary authority need not be prompted at this stage to strengthen its decision of suspension by resorting to some major penalty.

Anirudh (Expert)
09 November 2013

Dear Mr. Venu, the charge is not that the official criticised the Government or its policies. In which case, yes one can take the defence under proviso to Rule 9 as suggested by you.

But, here the charge is something else that he did not show devotion to duty and acted in a manner unbecoming of a govt. servant. Therefore, in my view, the question of taking defence under proviso to Rule 9 simply would not arise.

Amaresh Patel (Querist)
14 October 2016

Sirs
My case is now in the stage that I have submitted the representation against the IOs report of findings to my disciplinary authority since 16th May/16.From reliable sources it was known that my aforesaid representation has been sent to my appointing authority but still now no communication has been received by me regarding the same. Can anyone please tell me what Will be my course of action. Is not there any time limit for disposing the case?

Amaresh Patel (Querist)
14 October 2016

Please help

Rajendra K Goyal Online (Expert)
14 October 2016

What is the opinion of your defense representative.

Either you can wait or may write the disciplinary authority to take decision in the case, as inquiry is complete.

P. Venu Online (Expert)
14 October 2016

Perhaps, we could have given a more meaningful suggestion as to the representation to be made against the IOs report.

Now the matter is at the final stageā‚¬; there is nothing that you can or need to do till the Disciplinary Authority decides.

Amaresh Patel (Querist)
15 October 2016

Any applications for early decision or dispose the case early

Rajendra K Goyal Online (Expert)
15 October 2016

You may write to Disciplinary Authority.



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