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Punjab Government Circular letter No. 13/18/83-2PP/1153, dated 24-02-1984 GUIDELINES FOR INQUIRY OFFICER, INTRUSTED INQUIRIES UNDER PUNJAB CIVIL SERVICES.

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Presentation on theme: "Punjab Government Circular letter No. 13/18/83-2PP/1153, dated 24-02-1984 GUIDELINES FOR INQUIRY OFFICER, INTRUSTED INQUIRIES UNDER PUNJAB CIVIL SERVICES."— Presentation transcript:

1 Punjab Government Circular letter No. 13/18/83-2PP/1153, dated GUIDELINES FOR INQUIRY OFFICER, INTRUSTED INQUIRIES UNDER PUNJAB CIVIL SERVICES ( Punishment & Appeal) Rules 1970.

2 General Principles :  1. Inquiry officer has to conduct the proceedings within the framework of Punjab Civil Services (Punishment & Appeal) Rules (Punishment & Appeal) Rules  2.He is also to follow instructions issued there under from time to time.  3.With the objectivity of approach and judicial independence, he is to record his findings on the basis of evidence adducted and to report whether the charges against the delinquent Government Employee are proved or not.  4.He should be free from any bias and be impartial.  5.He should not condemn any body unheard and should follow the rules of natural justice,

3  6. The party should have given an opportunity to produce all relevant evidence on which he relies.  7.The party should have given an opportunity of cross examining the witnesses examined by the other party.  8.Evidence of opponents should be taken in his presence.  9.No material should be relied upon against the delinquent Government Employee without his being given an opportunity of explaining them.

4 10. It is not essential for the inquiry officer to follow the provisions of Indian Evidence Act for taking evidences, but rules of natural justice be followed.

5 PRELIMINAY STAGE  1. Before the commencement of the enquiry the enquiry office should satisfy himself that he has received: Orders of the competent authority appointing him inquiry officer. Orders of the competent authority appointing him inquiry officer. Copy of the articles of charges and the statement of the imputations of misconduct or misbehaviour. Copy of the articles of charges and the statement of the imputations of misconduct or misbehaviour. Copy of written statement of defence, if any, submitted by the Government Employee to the Government. Copy of written statement of defence, if any, submitted by the Government Employee to the Government. Copy of statement of witnesses, if any, Copy of statement of witnesses, if any, Evidence proving the delivery of document (s) to be delivered, to the Government Employee. Evidence proving the delivery of document (s) to be delivered, to the Government Employee. Copy of the orders appointing the “ Presenting Officer” Copy of the orders appointing the “ Presenting Officer” ( If any of the above documents are not received by him he should ask for those, to be supplied.)

6 APPEARANCE  Inquiry officer is required to send a written notice specifying day and time of appearance before him, to the Government employee, within 10 working days of receipt of article of charges and the statement of imputations of misconduct and misbehaviour by the Government Employee or within further time not exceeding 10 days may be allowed by the inquiry officer.

7 RECORDING OF PLEA - 8(9)&8(10)  1. On appearance of the Government employee the enquiry office should ask him, if the Government employee has not already admitted any the articles of charge in his written statement, or has not submitted any written statement. If he pleads guilty, enquiry officer should record the same and get signature of the Government employee and return the findings of guilt in respect of those articles of charges to which the Government Employee has pleaded guilty.

8 Failure/Refusal/Omission to Plead. 8(11)  In case the Government employee fails/refuses or does not appear before him he shall: Order the presenting officer to produce the evidence by which he proposes to prove the article of charge. Order the presenting officer to produce the evidence by which he proposes to prove the article of charge. Adjourn the case to next date not exceeding thirty days for presenting officer to produce evidences. Adjourn the case to next date not exceeding thirty days for presenting officer to produce evidences.

9 Record and order that Government Employee may for preparing his defence: Record and order that Government Employee may for preparing his defence: (a)Inspect within five days of the order or within such further time which should not exceed five days, as the enquiry officer may allow, the following documents: i) The substance of imputations of misconduct or misbehaviour in to definite and distinct articles of charge ii) Statement of imputations of misconduct or misbehaviour in support of each article of charge which shall contain 1.A statement of all relevant facts including any admission or confession made by the Government employee. 2.A List of documents by which and a list of witnesses by whom, the article of charges is are proposed to sustain. (b) Submit the list of witness to be examined on behalf of Government employee; (c)Give notice for discovery or production of document which is in possession of Government but not mentioned in (a) above. This notice is to be given by the Government Employee with in ten days of the order of the enquiry officer or within such further period of time not exceeding 10 days as may be allowed by the enquiry officer.

10 DISCOVERY/PRODUCTION OF RECORD & SUPPLY OF COPIES OF DOCUMENTS  If the Government employee applies for the discovery or production of record by the Government in his defence, the request shall be granted.  The enquiry officer shall ensure that documents sought are relevant for the purpose of enquiry.  The Government employee is required to indicate the relevance of the documents required by him.  Inquiry officer can decline any such request for the reasons to be recorded by him in writing.

11  The enquiry officer then place the requisition along with the notice or copy thereof with the authority in whose custody/possession the documents are kept. He will mention the date for production of record in the requisition.  No request form the Government employee shall be granted by the enquiry officer for the supply of copies of listed documents except copies of statements, if any, of the witnesses to be produced during enquiry.  If the delinquent Govt. Employee, applies orally or in writing for supply of copies of statement of witnesses examined during preliminary enquiry or investigation, then copies of those statements of witnesses are to be supplied on which reliance is proposed to be made by the punishing authority.  These copies shall not be supplied later than three days before the commencement of the examination of witnesses on behalf of punishing authority.  If due to certain reasons it is not possible to furnish the Government Employee with those copies, the enquiry officer should allow him to make copies for himself. (Note: 8(11) letter No SII(3) 72 dated )

12 RECORDING OF EVIDENCE 8(15) TO 8(18) 1. Proceedings shall be conducted in the presence of the delinquent Government Employee unless held ex parte. Day to day proceedings shall be held as for as possible and long adjournments should be avoided. 2. Statement of witness shall normally be recorded in narrative and not in question and answer form. But if it appears to the enquiry officer that witness is concealing the truth, answers may be elicited by putting a specific question and recording his answer.

13 3. Firstly all oral and documentary evidence on behalf of punishing authority shall be allowed to be produced. 4. During recording of evidences, such questions to the witnesses as are irrelevant, or malicious or scandlous or mischievous in nature, should be disallowed. 5. Enquiry officer, may, however, put such questions to the witness at any time to bring out the truth to clear any doubt in statement. 6. The presenting officer is entitled to re-examine the witness on any point on which they have been cross examined, but for re-examine of any new question permission of inquiry officer is necessary.

14 7. New evidence may be permitted by the enquiry officer before the close of the case on behalf of punishing authority or Government Employee. If in his opinion it is necessary and in the interest of justice and not with a view to filling up gaps in evidence. The enquiry officer may himself call for new evidence or recall or re-examine any witness. 8. On demand, the enquiry officer shall supply to the Government Employee, the copy of list of further evidence proposed to be produced and an adjournment of inquiry for three clear days before the production of new evidence, excluding the days on which and to which the case if adjourned.

15 9. The enquiry officer shall also give the Government Employee an opportunity to inspecting such documents before they are taken on record. 10. If the delinquent Government Employee raises some objections or issues which call for decision, the enquiry officer, after giving notice to the presenting officer, may decide the same by writing or speaking order. The case shall, under no circumstances be remitted to the punishing authority nor shall it be adjourned pending decision of the punishing authority.

16 11. When the case of the punishing authority is closed, the Government Employee, shall be required to state his defence orally or in writing. The oral evidence shall be recorded by the inquiry officer and signatures of Government Employee obtained thereon. A copy of statement of defence shall be given to the presenting officer. 12. Production of evidence and witnesses by the Government employee, their examination, cross-examination, re-examination, and examination by the enquiry officer, has to be according to the provisions applicable to the witnesses for the punishing authority.

17 13. After the close of the case by the delinquent Government Employee, He shall be examined and all circumstances appearing against him in evidence may be put to him with a view to affording him an opportunity to explain the circumstances appearing against him. 14. It will be appropriate to ask the Government Employee as to why the witnesses on behalf of the punishing authority are deposing against him. 15. In case a Government employee chooses he may be examined on his own behalf like other witnesses and his testimony so recorded, shall be appraised as any other piece of evidence brought on the record.

18 16. After the completion of evidence by both the parties, the inquiry officer may hear the presenting officer, and the delinquent Government Employee as the inquiry officer may permit them. If they so desire, to file written brief of their respective cases.

19 Engaging a legal practitioner.8(8 ) a) A Government employee is permitted to take the assistance of another Government Employee or a retired Government employee to present his case. b) The enquiry officer should not permit him to engage a legal practitioner unless the presenting officer is a legal practitioner. c) Punishing authority may permit the Government Employee to engage a legal practitioner.

20 Ex-parte Proceedings 8 (20)  The inquiry officer may hold the inquiry ex- parte if: 1.If the delinquent Government Employee does not submit the written statement of defence by the due date or 2.Does not appear in person before the inquiry officer. 3.fails to comply with the provisions of Rule 8 of the Punjab Civil Service (Punishment & Appeal) Rules 1970.

21 IIIImportant: The inquiry officer should consider the grounds of absence of the Government employee from the disciplinary proceedings on their merits and take decision whether to condone the absence or not. However, if there is persistent default on the part of the Government Employee and the inquiry officer is of the opinion that Government Employee is adopting dilatory tactics. He may take exparte decision. If during the course of exparte proceedings, the delinquent Government Employee appears before the inquiry officer, he should be allowed to join the proceedings at that stage but proceedings shall not be held de-novo.

22 Change of inquiry officer 8(22)  In the event of Change of inquiry officer: a)The successor officer may act on the evidence recorded by his predecessor or partly recorded by his predecessor and partly by himself. b)But if in the opinion of the succeeding inquiry officer it is necessary in the interest of justice to further examine any witness whose evidence has already been recorded by his predecessor, he may call, examine, cross-examine and re-examine such witness.

23 Mode of service of notice/orders  The order or notice under the rules is to be served in person on the delinquent Government Employee or communicated to him by a registered post.  If, however, in any case serving of notice, orders etc., in person or by a registered post is not possible,.e.g., whereabouts of the employee are not known, or employee has proceeded abroad, the same should be published in a daily newspaper.

24 Compelling attendance of witness & production of documents in exceptional circumstances.(Pb. Govt. letter No G-55/16442, dated 15 th June, 1955)  The inquiry officer is legally competent to exercise the powers as are exercisable by a commission appointed for enquiry under Public Servant (Inquiries) Act.,  He can summon the witness & can compel the production of documents.  A person disobeying a process issued in this behalf, is liable to same penalty as if the process issued by court has been disobeyed.  The inquiry officer, derive these powers under Punjab Departmental Enquiries (Powers) Act., 1955.

25  The Presenting officer or the delinquent Govt., employee may be allowed to produce his witness.  A witness could be summoned for evidence or producing of documents.  Where there is disobedience to the process issued by the inquiry officer, a notice may be sent to the witness through the District Judge in whose jurisdiction the witness reside.  These summons should be in the forms as per annexure A, B, C as under:

26 Annexure ‘A’ Summons to Witness [Section 2 of the Punjab Departmental Inquiries (Powers) Act, 1955 read with Section 8 of Punjab Servants (Inquiries) Act, 1850 {Act No. 37 of 1850}] Departmental inquiry being held in relation to Sh./ Smt /.Kumari……………………….. Designation……………. Working in the …………………………( Name of the Department / Office. To ______________ ( Name and address of the witness) ______________ Whereas your attendance is required to give the evidence / produce document on behalf of ……………(Name of defendant/ Department Concerned)………. ………….in the above Departmental enquiry, you are hereby required ( personally) to appear before this Inquiring Authority on the ___day of _____(Name of month) 19….. at ……. O’ Clock in the forenoon/afternoon and to bring with you ( or to send to the Inquiring Authority………………………( Description of documents required.) If you fail to comply with this order without lawful excuse, you will be subject to the consequences of non-attendance laid down in Section 9 of Public Servants (Inquiries) Act., Inter alia entailing you prosecution under Section 174 on Indian Penal Code. Given under my hand and the seal of this Inquiring Authority this day of _____ (Name of the month)_____200__ Inquiring Authority.

27 Annexure ‘B’ Request for Transmission of Summons to be Served on a Witness in a Departmental Inquiry [Section 2 of the Punjab Departmental Inquiries (Powers) Act, 1955 read with Section 8 of Punjab Servants (Inquiries) Act, 1850 {Act No. 37 of 1850}] To ______________( Name and address of the District Judge ______________ concerned) Under the provisions of Section 2d of Punjab Departmental Inquiries (Powers) Act., 1955, read with Section 8 of the Public Servants Inquiries Act, 1850 ( Act No. 37 of 1850, a summon in duplicate is herewith forwarded for service on the witness _______ (Name) __________(address). You are requested to cause a copy the said summons to be served upon the said witness and return the original to this Inquiry Authority, signed by the said witness, with a statement of service endorsed thereon by you. Inquiring Authority.

28 Annexure ‘C’ Form for Summoning Public Servant as a Witness No. ____________ Office of the ………………. Punjab, Chandigarh. Punjab, Chandigarh. (Place of Issue), Dated……. To______________________ I am appointed as the Inquiry Authority for holding an inquiry against Shri / Smt./ Kumari __________. I request you to appear before me on ______at _________( time and place ) Your presence for the above purpose may be treated in terms of the Punjab Departmental Inquiries (Powers) Act., Inquiring Authority Copy to ___________ with the request to permit the official mentioned above to attend the enquiry on due date. Inquiring Authority

29  The recourse of mode mentioned above, may be had only in exceptional circumstances.  And shall not be resorted to in summoning Government employee of documents in custody of the Government as the same can be obtained otherwise.

30 Standard of Proof Letter No. (GOI)2S-II-75/35048, dated 4th/8th September, 1975  Standard of proof in the case of domestic enquiries is not as strict as is in criminal cases, i.e. beyond all reasonable doubt.  The findings in a departmental enquiry are to be based on the preponderance of probabilities as in civil cases.  From the facts on the record, all inferences may be drawn which any rational and prudent person normally do.

31 Recording of Reports 8(23) 1. After the conclusion of the enquiry the enquiry officer shall prepare a report. The findings should be based strictly on evidence adduced during the course of enquiry. 2. The reasons for accepting or rejecting any plea or contention or any evidence should be clearly stated. 3. No material from personal knowledge or other extraneous consideration should be imported, while giving the findings. But judicial notice of law in force and relevant Codal provisions may be taken. 4. If the evidence on record establishes a charge different from the original charge, the inquiry officer may write his findings thereon also.

32 5. The findings shall not be recorded on any article of charge different from the original articles of charge unless the Government Employee has either admitted the facts on which such article of charge is based or has had a reasonable opportunity of defending himself against such article of charge. 6. The Principles of natural justice, equity and fair play should be kept in mind by the inquiry officer while preparing reports. 7. The Inquiry Officer shall, under no circumstances, propose the penalty which may be imposed, in his report.

33 8. The report shall contain: 1.A brief introduction leading to the enquiry. 2.A gist of charges. 3.Summary of evidence of both the sides with regard to each article of charge. 4.Summary of defence of the delinquent Government employee in respect of each article of charge. 5.Reasons for acceptance and rejection, in whole or in part, of the evidence of either party. 6.The conclusions arrived at with reference to each article of charge. 9. Even when exparte proceedings are taken, the Inquiry Officer shall record the evidence and write report.

34 Enquiries against the employees of Corporation of Boards Punjab Govt. Letter No. 12/5/79-6PP/10726, dated 31 st August,  As far as possible the enquiries against employees of Public Undertakings should be done by the Officers of the concerned Corporation/Board.  Where in exceptional circumstances it is necessary to entrust enquiry to an officer of State Government the Chief Secretary, in IAS or PCS Branches or in Establishment-I Branch should be consulted, with regard to appointment of an officer. The enquiry would be entrusted to the officer so nominated by the Chief Secretary.  While placing the requisition for appointment of Inquiry Officer, the quantum of honorarium admissible should be indicated.

35  No requisition for the appointment of an Inquiry Officer, by name should be entertained as acceptance thereof could vitiate the entire proceedings and violate principles of natural justice.  In no case Inquiry or other work involving payment of remuneration should be entrusted by any public undertaking to any officer of the Government without prior permission of the authority competent to grant such permission.  No officer of State Government should accept such additional work without the prior approval of the competent authority. Any officer doing so will render himself liable to disciplinary action under conduct rules.


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