Saturday, 31 July 2021

Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 36 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan

 Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 36 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan

Case Law on Conduct rules

6. The government servants are entitled to form an association and even if the said association is not recognized by the govt., such an association also has the right to file writ petitions in respect of any common grievance of the members of the association. This can happen only by the persuasion of many, by a few officials who take a leading part. Can such persuasion be characterized as instigation or deceit? Certainly not. But, that is what exactly has been done by the Disciplinary Authority in this case. Having considered the facts and circumstances of this case, I am convinced and I am constrained to hold that the institution of the Disciplinary Proceedings and the imposition of penalty of dismissal against the petitioners was a vindictive action by the Disciplinary Authority against the petitioners, as according to it these two petitioners were instrumental in filing the writ petitions. It is amazing that the Disciplinary Authority failed to realize the impropriety of instituting Disciplinary Proceedings against the petitioners on a charge of the nature set out earlier and spending considerable public time over it and imposing the penalty of dismissal and that the appellate authority confirmed the orders.

A.P.S.K.Sangh (Railways) X UOI AIR 1981 SC 98, V.K.Parameswaran X UOI & others (1982) 1 SLJ 516 Karnataka H.C.

7. Senior officers must exhibit exemplary conduct: Higher the ladder the officer scales in the echelons of service, greater should be the transparency of integrity, honesty, character and dedication to duty... The rights - constitutional or statutory-carry with them corollary duty to maintain efficiency, integrity and dedication to public service.."

K.Kandaswamy X UOI (1995) 6 SCC 162. 67.

8. Meaning of 'unbecoming conduct': Rule 3 (1) (iii) of CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964 says that every government servant shall at all times do nothing unbecoming of a government servant, does not suffer from any vagueness or indefiniteness and is not constitutionally invalid on that ground. There cannot be an exhaustive list of actions which would be unbecoming of a government servant. Instructions under Rule 3, No. 22 give sufficient guidance in the matter of judging as to what is unbecoming conduct. Each case will have to be decided on the attendant circumstances in the context of norms of conduct of usually accepted standards of morality, decency, decorum and propriety.

Inspecting Asst. Commr. of Income tax X SK Gupta 80 CWN 74, Mahendra Kr. X UOI and anr. (1984) 1 SLJ 34 (AP). 

9. Meaning of 'unbecoming conduct/misconduct': The rules are not exhaustive in relation to the code of conduct specified in these rules. There exists what is known as an 'unwritten code of conduct which must be observed by every government servant... It is the duty of the government servant to be loyal, diligent, faithful and obedient. The liability to respect and the recognition of a subordinate role on the part of an employee also flows from the nature of the contract. Thus, disobedience, insubordination and acts subversive of discipline are the recognized misconducts because these acts are contrary to the obligations imposed on an employee by the nature of contract itself and can freely be treated as implied. It is for the employer to consider reasonably what conduct should be treated as misconduct. No general rule in this behalf can be laid down.

Agnani X Badridas & others (1969) 1 LLJ 684 (SC).

10. Innocent action on the part of a person cannot be held as misconduct.

UOI XJ.Ahmed AIR 1979 SC 1022.

 No malafide intention and no revenue loss. Cannot be treated as lack of devotion.

SLJ 1992 (3) 28 S.C 


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