Sunday, 25 July 2021

Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 31 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan

 Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 31 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan


I.           Government of India's instructions regarding criminal prosecution  - Prosecution should precede departmental action

The following procedure should normally be adopted in cases of alleged misconduct of Government servant.

2. As soon as sufficient evidence is available for the purpose in the course of investigation in cases of misconduct, whether such investigation is conducted departmentally or through the police (including the Special Police Establishment), action should be taken forthwith. It has been decided that prosecution should be the general rule in all those cases which are found fit to be sent to Court after investigation and in which the offences are of bribery, corruption or other criminal misconduct involving loss of substantial public funds. In such cases, departmental action should not precede prosecution. In other cases involving less serious offences or involving malpractices of a departmental nature, departmental action only should be taken and the question of prosecution should generally not arise. Whenever, however, there is unresolved difference of opinion between the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Administrative Authority concerned as to whether prosecution in Court or departmental action should be resorted to in the first instance, the matter should be referred to the Central Vigilance Commission for advice.

3. Before initiating criminal proceedings advice on evidence should be obtained from Government Counsel, and in more important cases from the Attorney-General or the Solicitor General. Where the conduct of an officer discloses a grave offence of a criminal nature, criminal prosecution should be the rule and not the exception. Where competent authority is satisfied that there is no criminal case which can be reasonably sustained against such officer, criminal prosecution should not, of course, be resorted to; but prosecution should not be avoided merely on the ground that the case might lead to an acquittal.

[Govt. of India, M.H.A., O.M. No. F. 39/30/54-Ests., dated the 7th June, 1955 and No 39/8/64-Ests. (A), dated the 4th September, 1964.]



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