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vilakshana singh (advocate)     29 June 2008


IN A DEPARTMENTAL ENQUIRY, On whom does the burden of prof lies? whether the deliuent has to prove that he is not guilty or before that the departmnet has to produce sufficient evidence to prove that the deliquent officer is guilty. Pleas quote some important judgements. 


 11 Replies

vilakshana singh (advocate)     29 June 2008

burden of proof lies on the department.

ssujeet-Advocate (n/a)     03 July 2008

The burden of proof lies on the employer to prove the misconduct

in the domestic enquiry

Krishnan Venkatachalam (Legal professional)     03 July 2008

Dear friend,

obiviously, the burden of proof lies on the organisation which is conducting a domestic enquiry against the deliquent employee.

With regards

V. Krishnan

krishnamoorthy (Government servant)     10 July 2008

Dear friend,

The Rules of Evidence Act and the "Standard of proof" envisged therein do not apply to Departmental proceedings.  The preponderance of probabilities tending to draw an inference is sufficient to take action.  In the Departmental proceedings only the the Enquiry officer has to weigh the probabilities and come to the conclusion that the charges are proved.  Thus the burden is always on the "Employer" to prove the charges.  

Facts, Circumstances & evidences differ from case to case. 

However, the judgment reported in 2006(3) LLN 158 M.V.Bijlani Vs UOI para 25 may be relevant for your query.

Yours friendly,


Gopakumar Madhavan (Manager)     20 October 2011

In a departmental enquiry, a charge sheet was issued based on a complaint received. Should not the complainant be exanuned during proceedings ?

MURALI (EXECUTIVE)     26 October 2011


    the burden of proof lies  with  the officer who presents the  case on behalf of the  department

 the enquiry  officer  has to go thro all evidences  , by way of  natural justice, giving  all the  cahnces to the  charged officil,  finally conclude the chrge as proved  or not proved The charged officer can engage  the defence assistant in his case  to counter

 yours   friendly,

 v murali

 executive BSNL

jaykumtekar (Legal Advisor)     02 November 2011

Dear All,

My views are different.  In a departmental inquiry the management has chargesheeted the deliquent employee.  Now the onus lies on the Chargesheeted employee to prove that he is not guilty.  When we are chargesheeting an employee it implies that the charges are substantiated against the employee.  The onus lies on the CSE to prove that he is not guilty and that is the thumb rule.

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     24 November 2011

Not agreeing with any other blog and stongley disagreeing with the view of Jayakumtekar The opnus of proof generally lies on the management and the chargesheet is required to includ ethe list of documents and person on whose evidence the charges are sought to be proved there are exception to the same in specific case (i.e. charges of asstts beyond known souces of income, allegation of undue favour) The problems is  that you are not disclosing full facts of the case and asking a vague query.

jaykumtekar (Legal Advisor)     26 November 2011

The same can be equated by Criminal Chargesheet. for better understanding.  When a chargesheet is made against the accused person it means that the charges are levelled against him.  It is the onus of the accused person to defend to that charges to prove that he is not guilty of any offence.  Whereas in the Criminal proceedings the guilt has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and whereas in Domestic inquiry it is based on preponderance of probability.

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     26 November 2011

No No Mr Jayakumar, preponderance of probability does not mean shifting of burden of prooof.  For the purpose of preponderance of probability a chain or irrefutable fcts need to be proved.  It is not simply that the accused can be asked to prove innosence.  Once such chain is eatablished than it is the accused who has to break and  the same operates in the criminal case. If you are charging Mr A that he hit and injured Mr B at __________ on __________ in front of Mr B&C and the matter was reported to Mr D.  it is the management which has to prove that Mr A&B were there at the time. Mr B was taken to doctor E by Mt G in a car driven by Mr F and Mr B remained on leave for __________ days. All these facts are to be proved by the management by evidence of B,C,D,E,F&G. The medial papers,  leave application of B. Then only prepoonderance of probability will eatablish. Once that preponderance is eatablished then there is no need to provide eivdence like criminal case [i.e. MLC, Blood stained cloths, etc].  Even in case of disporportionate assetts, the management has to prove the value of assets and the income of the accused and spouce once that is done then only it is for the accused to prove that the assetts are accountable and not disporportionate.

S.B.adil rahman (Legal Consultant )     22 March 2019

Sudhir ji, I wonder that why a departmental proceeding does not exonerate the C.O on the basis of  benefit of doubt? It is true that the concept of the departmental proceeding does not have application of Evidence Act but what is the basis of evidence which results in punishment or exoneration and what constitutes the definition of Evidence in departmental proceedings? Preponderance of probablity is a vague term when the right to life of an employee is concerned if dismissed and  proved through preponderance of probablity, then why the evidences adduced shall not conform to the Evidence Act? Moreover, when a criminal trial is pending over the identical issue then how the departmental proceeding can prove the charge and punish the employee? Why the departmental proceedings are not stopped till the result of the criminal case?

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