Welcome!

Welcome! The purpose of this blog is to share information and knowledge on Departmental Inquiry. Consultancy guidance and training services are available.
Important: Every effort has been taken to provide relevant and up-to-date information, however I do not take any responsibility for any action taken on the basis of the tips/write-ups in this blog.

You may visit following blogs:
- 'Quality Concepts and ISO 9001:2008 QMS Awareness' at http://iso9001-2008awareness.blogspot.in/
- 'ISO 9001 QMS Awareness' Blog in Hindi at http://iso9001awareness.blogspot.in/
- 'EMS Awareness' Blog at http://emsawareness.blogspot.in/
- Blog on 'Forthcoming ISO 9001:2015 QMS Awareness' at http://qmsawareness.blogspot.in
With best wishes,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

GENERAL TIPS – 14

TIPS FOR THE INQUIRY OFFICER - 3

In case of ex-parte proceedings, you should allow the CE to participate in the proceedings at any stage, he desires.

You may suspend the proceedings, if the CE dies or is dismissed or removed from service and refer the case to the DA.

You should permit production of new evidence only if there is inherent lacuna in the evidence already recorded.

In part-heard inquiries, you are free to take up proceedings, de novo, but this should be done in exceptional cases only. It is better to start from where they were left.



In case of ‘Court Witness’, you should allow cross examination by both parties – PO and CE.

Please ask mandatory questions at the close of proceedings where the CE does not opt to be his own witness.

You should allow copy of the written brief of the PO to the CE. CE may be allowed to file his written brief after going through the written brief of the PO.

You should submit your full report of the inquiry along with original records to the DA.

Please do not delegate functions of holding of inquiry to other person.

Please do not hold inquiry according to your own methods. Please follow prescribed procedure.

Please do not call for the documents or witnesses to decide the question of their relevancy.

Please do not requisition additional documents from the DA and/or the PO. You should write direct to the custodian of the documents.

Please do not insist that witnesses be produced in any particular sequence befor you in the inquiry. It should be left to the respective parties.

With best wishes

Keshav Ram Singhal

Abbreviation

IO = Inquiry Officer / Enquiry Officer / Inquiring Authority
PO = Presenting Officer
DR = Defence Representative
CE = Charged Employee / Charged Officer
DA = Disciplinary Authority
AA = Appellate Authority

Saturday, March 10, 2012

GENERAL TIPS – 13

TIPS FOR THE INQUIRY OFFICER – 2

You should clearly pass your order with regard to inspection of documents.

In case the CE/DR gives a list of additional documents, please ask him to mention the relevance of each document. Examine the relevancy thoroughly and allow the inspection accordingly. If relevancy of a particular document is not clear to you, then it is better to allow inspection of such document. You should deny inspection of documents not relevant for which you should record reason for such refusal.

You should send requisition for additional documents to the authority to whom the documents belong.

On receipt of the list of defence witnesses, you should ask the CE/DR to mention the relevance of each witness. Defence witnesses relevance should be decided expeditiously. In case you consider a particular proposed witness not relevant, please record your reason for the same.



You should send requisition for the additional documents directly to the custodian of the documents.

You should decide date, time and venue of the regular inquiry and send intimation to the CE and the PO. It is better to send such intimation to the DR also.

You should take all necessary steps to secure attendance of the witnesses including defence witnesses.

Whenever CE and/or DR make inspection of documents, please obtain confirmation in this regard and take it on record.

You should conduct the regular hearing fairly and firmly. Your approach should be judicious one.

You should ensure that there is no harassment of any witness during the examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination.

You should maintain a book or file to record the proceedings of the inquiry. The inquiry proceedings should be serially numbered.

You should obtain signature of each party on each page of the proceedings.

You should obtain signatures of witnesses on the proceedings where depositions of witnesses are recorded.

You should supply copies of the proceedings to each party – to the PO, CE and DR. You may also supply copy of the proceedings to the witness where his deposition is recorded.

You should keep record of your observations/rulings in the proceedings.

With best wishes,

Keshav Ram Singhal

Abbreviation

IO = Inquiry Officer / Enquiry Officer / Inquiring Authority
PO = Presenting Officer
DR = Defence Representative
CE = Charged Employee / Charged Officer
DA = Disciplinary Authority
AA = Appellate Authority

Friday, March 9, 2012

GENERAL TIPS – 12

TIPS FOR THE INQUIRY OFFICER - 1

Please examine your order of appointment. Please check whether it has been signed by the competent authority.

Please check whether you have received following papers:
- Copy of the charge-sheet along with list of allegations, witnesses, evidences etc.
- Copy of written statement(s), if any
- Copy of the appoint of PO

You should be fully conversant with the procedure of the inquiry.

Please study the charge-sheet, enclosed statement(s) and relative papers carefully and acquaint yourself with the facts of the case and nature of accusation.

Please make your plan for the preliminary hearing and decide date, time and venue for it.



Please send notices for preliminary hearing to the CE and the PO.

It is always better to serve the notice in person or through Registered Post AD.

On the first day of the preliminary hearing, ask the CE as to whether he admits all the charges. If he does so, please record his plea of guilt and return the case to the DA with your covering report. If CE admits some of the charges, not all charges, then also record his plea of guilt in respect of those charges that CE admits, and proceed with the inquiry in respect of the remaining charges that CE does not admit.

On the first day of the preliminary inquiry, you may discuss the calendar of the inquiry (as prepared by you) with both parties.

In case CE has not brought his DR in the inquiry, you may advise him that he may take assistance of a DR as per rules in this regard.

In case CE wishes to take assistance of a legal practitioner, ask him why he wishes to do so. You should analyze his request. You should not allow CE to engage a legal practitioner as DR unless the PO happens to be a trained legal practitioner or DA has permitted it. You must allow CE to engage a legal practitioner as DR, if PO happens to a trained legal practitioner or the DA has permitted it.

You should enquire in how many cases the DR is rendering his defence assistance. He should not have two other cases to appear as DR.

With best wishes,

Keshav Ram Singhal

Abbreviation

IO = Inquiry Officer / Enquiry Officer / Inquiring Authority
PO = Presenting Officer
DR = Defence Representative
CE = Charged Employee / Charged Officer
DA = Disciplinary Authority
AA = Appellate Authority

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

GENERAL TIPS – 11

In departmental inquiries communication through ‘Registered Post A. D.’ is quite reasonable and sufficient.

If a registered letter is offered to but refused by the addressee, the addressee will be imputed with knowledge of the contents also.

Once an order is issued and sent out, it is held to be communicated, no matter when the employee concerned actually receives it. The only exception is an order of dismissal etc. which takes effect from the date of his actual knowledge.

Holding of departmental inquiry proceedings after acquittal depends upon the nature of findings by the criminal court.

Though a full fledged inquiry is not necessary for imposing a minor penalty but the CE must be given an effective opportunity to defend himself.

It is always open to the DA to withdraw a reference for disciplinary action or to drop the charges.



Reversion to parent department before expiry of the period of deputation is not a punishment.

Ex-parte proceedings are justified where the CE declined to participate in the inquiry despite notice to him.

Ex-parte proceedings are justified where an attempt was made to serve notice on the CE through registered post, but the CE refused to accept it.

Ex-parte proceedings are justified where the attitude of the CE was one of complete non-cooperation.

Ex-parte proceedings are not justified where the CE (placed under suspension) is not paid his subsistence allowance for several months, expressed his inability to attend inquiry proceedings held at a distinct place from his headquarter, due to paucity of funds.

Even in ex-parte proceedings, the IO should record all available evidence.

The relationship of employer and employee comes to an end on retirement of the employee and hence no disciplinary proceedings can be taken against him after that date.

Even after retirement, an inquiry to a limited extent is admissible under the pension rules for withholding or withdrawing the pension.

With best wishes,

Keshav Ram Singhal

Abbreviation

IO = Inquiry Officer / Enquiry Officer / Inquiring Authority
PO = Presenting Officer
DR = Defence Representative
CE = Charged Employee / Charged Officer
DA = Disciplinary Authority
AA = Appellate Authority

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

GENERAL TIPS – 10

The report of the IO is not binding on the DA, who has to apply his mind and reach his own conclusions.

Where the DA disagrees with the report of the IO, he should state reasons for the difference.

Where the DA agrees with the findings of the IO, it is not necessary to record reasons for it.

Where inquiry has not been held properly, the DA may remit the case for further inquiry.

A DA may consult other authorities, provided he does not accept the advice of others mechanically but applies his own mind to the whole matter before reaching the final conclusions.



Where the CE is exonerated after an inquiry duly held, a second inquiry on the same facts is legally not permissible.

Past bad record cannot be taken into consideration for deciding quantum of punishment unless the CE had a sufficient notice of it.

Lack of efficiency, failure to attain the highest standard or administrative ability does not constitute misconduct.

A conduct inconsistent with the faithful discharge of duties is misconduct.
Final orders by the DA must be speaking orders.

Even in the case of a minor penalty, it is essential to make a speaking order.

A final order passed by the DA must discuss the case, the CE’s defence, the evidence of both parties, the reason why the PO’s evidence is more acceptable than that of the CE.

The DA must record separate findings on each of the charges.

The order of appeal must also be in a speaking order.

With best wishes,
Keshav Ram Singhal
Abbreviation
IO = Inquiry Officer / Enquiry Officer / Inquiring Authority
PO = Presenting Officer
DR = Defence Representative
CE = Charged Employee / Charged Officer
DA = Disciplinary Authority
AA = Appellate Authority