Instructions have been issued in the past for expeditious disposal of disciplinary proceedings against delinquent government servants. However, it has been observed that disciplinary proceedings are generally taking a long time which defeats the very purpose of initiating the said proceedings. Therefore, it has been considered necessary to issue the following guidelines for monitoring and expeditious disposal of disciplinary proceedings:
i. There are a number of instances where the Courts have set aside the order of penalty due to inordinate delay in initiating action. Therefore, it has to be ensured that disciplinary proceedings are initiated without undue delay.
ii. The Administrative Department/Competent Authority should study the allegations more carefully and resort to minor penalty proceedings instead of initiating major penalty proceedings, where the circumstances involve minor infringements or cases of procedural irregularities. It has to be kept in mind that a minor penalty swiftly but judiciously imposed by a Disciplinary Authority is much more effective than a major penalty imposed after years spent on a protracted enquiry.
iii. There is undue delay due to repeated requests of the charged officer for time to give his written statement in reply to the charge sheet. As per existing instructions, the charged officer is allowed 10 days to submit his written statement. The charged officer may be allowed 3 — 4 days absence by the Controlling Officer for preparing his written statement in which case, no extension of time should be allowed beyond the stipulated period of 10 days. (DoP&T's OM No.142/5/2003-AVD.I dated 6th April, 2004)
iv. If vigilance angle is involved in a complaint, the case should be referred to CVC for their 1st stage advice within one month from the date of receipt of investigation report. If vigilance angle is not involved, case should be put up to the disciplinary authority for taking decision to initiate disciplinary action for major or minor penalty against delinquent officer under CCS(CCA) Rules within one month from the date of receipt of investigation report.
v. After receipt of first stage advice of CVC, the case should be put up to the .disciplinary authority for taking decision to initiate disciplinary action for major or minor penalty against delinquent officer under CCS(CCA) Rules within one month from the date of receipt of 1st stage advice of CVC.
vi. The chargesheet should be issued to the charged officer within a week from the date of receipt of decision of the disciplinary authority to initiate major or minor penalty proceedings against him. In any case, it should be ensured that the chargesheet is issued within one month from the date of receipt of the 1st stage advice of CVC.
vii. Simultaneously with the issuance of chargesheet, names of suitable officer to be appointed as 10 & PO may be selected tentatively. If the charged officer, in his written statement of defence, denies the charges leveled against him, orders regarding appointment of 10 & PO should be issued immediately after receipt and consideration of defence statement. Copies of all the relevant papers/documents should also be provided to IO/P0 along with the order.
viii. The charge sheet should be drafted with utmost accuracy and precision based on the facts revealed during the investigation or otherwise and the misconduct involved. It should be ensured that no relevant material is left out and at the same time no irrelevant material or witnesses are included. (DoP&T's DO No.134/2/83-AVD.I dated 2nd May, 1985)
ix. As far as possible, copies of all the documents relied upon and the statements of witnesses cited on behalf of the Disciplinary Authority should be supplied to the Government servant along with the charge sheet, so that the time taken by the charged officer to submit his written statement of defense is reduced. (DoP&T's DO No.134/2/83-AVD.I dated 2nd May, 1985)
x. JO should submit his report within six months from the date of receipt of order of his appointment as 10. Where it is not possible to adhere to this time limit, the JO should submit reasons for delay to the disciplinary authority in writing.
xi. A copy of the inquiry report and also disagreement of the disciplinary authority, if any, on it should be provided to the Charged Officer within 15 days from the date of receipt of Inquiry Report alongwith reasons for disagreement of the Disciplinary Authority with JO's findings, if any. (CVC Circular No. 000NGL/18 dated 23rd May, 2000). The Charged Officer may be allowed 15 days to submit, if he so desires, his written representation or submission to the disciplinary authority irrespective of whether the report is favourable or not to the government servant (DoP&T's O.M. No.11012/13/85-Estt. dated 26th June, 1989)
xii. After the receipt of the representation of charged officer on Inquiry Report, the case may be sent to CVC, wherever required, for their second stage advice, or to UPSC for their advice, as the case may be, within one month. (CVC's Circular No 000NGL/18 dated 23rd May, 2000)
xiii. Penalty order should be issued within a month from the date of advice of UPSC. (DoP&T's DO No 134/2/83-AVD.I dated 2nd May, 1985)
xiv. The time-limits indicated above should be strictly adhered to. The CVO concerned would be directly responsible to adhere to these time limits.
xv. Each Ministry/Department may keep ready a panel of IO/P0 from their retired government officers which may be used when no serving government servant is available for appointment of IO/PO. The services of I0s/POs who would be available on the panel maintained by CVC may also be utilized in consultation with CVC.
xvi. In some Departments a large number of oral inquiries are pending. In order to expedite completion of inquiries within a specified time limit, some officers on a full time basis may be earmarked by the concerned Department to act as IO/PO.
xvii. In order to ensure expeditious disposal of disciplinary proceedings, vide DoP&T's OM No.372/19/2011-AVD-III) (Pt. 1) dated 26.09.2011, the second stage consultation with CVC in disciplinary matters has been dispensed with except in those cases where consultation with UPSC is not required as per extant rules/instructions. This may be followed. Since there will be only one consultation after receipt of IO's report (either with CVC or the UPSC, as the case may be), it is expected that the new procedure would substantially reduce the time taken in finalizing disciplinary proceedings after receipt of the IO's report.
xviii. Wherever a Departmental officer is appointed as the 10 in Departmental Proceedings, the officer concerned may be relieved from his normal duties for a period up to 20 days in two spells during which he should complete the inquiry and submit the report. During this period so allowed, he will attend to the inquiry on full time basis. These time spells may depend on the need and the feasibility of conducting full-time hearings on a day to day basis. (DoP&T's OM No.142/5/2003-AVD.I dated 6th April, 2004)
xix. For effective monitoring of the disciplinary proceedings cases, the Vigilance set up must be strengthened in every Ministry/Department. Instructions issued vide DOPT OM No. 372/19/2011-AVD-III (Pt.1) dated 26.09.2011 are hereby reiterated. All Ministries/Departments are requested to take appropriate action in the matter.
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