Sunday, 16 October 2022

Conduct & Disciplinary Rules – 139 : (Compiled By Com Kayveeyes)

 Conduct & Disciplinary Rules – 139 : (Compiled By Com Kayveeyes)

 Disciplinary Rules – An introduction

II. Suspension

1. Suspension is a temporary deprivation of office. When a Government Servant is suspended, he is ordered not to perform the duties of his office for the period he remains suspended. During the period of suspension, he draws admissible subsistence allowance. Rule 10 of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 stipulates when and by whom a Government servant may be placed under suspension, what is deemed suspension; extension of the period of suspension after review, payment of subsistence allowance, revoking the order of suspension and reinstating the suspended official into service, regularizing the period of suspension etc. Suspension is not a punishment. But it causes lasting damage to the reputation of the affected official and its stigma is not easily washed away. Therefore, several instructions and guidelines are issued by the Government which are necessarily to be adhered to by the authority concerned, while placing an official under suspension.

     (2)   An order of suspension is appealable as per Rule 23 (i) of CCS (CCA) Rules.

     (3)   Put-off Duty: Placing GDS employees under suspension is termed as Put off Duty as per Rule - 12 of GDS Rules - 2001.

2. Suspension itself is not a penalty. But it causes irreparable and lasting damage to the reputation of an official. The power of suspension is vested only with disciplinary authorities even though they are subordinate officer to the appointing authority. Such subordinate authority has to report forthwith to the appointing authority about the circumstances in which the order was made as required under proviso to Rule 10 sub rule (1) clause (2). This is a kind of protection ensured to Govt servants, but the same is not enough sufficient nowadays to protect the employees from the biased officers.   

3. In the statutory Rule 10, it is not prescribed about what the Appointing Authority should do on the receipt of the report as prescribed in proviso to Rule 10(1) clause (2) from the subordinate officer/disciplinary authority. There is a vacuum in the Rules. In practice, the Appointing Authorities are following the instructions contained in GOI, Department of Personnel OM No 7/4/74 – Ests (A) dt 9.8.1974. “Only supervisory officers in offices located away from the Headquarters need be specifically empowered to suspend a subordinate officer in cases involving gross dereliction of duties. In order to prevent abuse of power the suspending authorities should be required to report the facts of each case immediately to the next higher authority and all such orders of suspension should become abinitio void unless confirmed by the reviewing authority within a period of one month from the date of issue of orders.”   

4. This OM should not be treated as statutory Rule. The contents of OM do not mention about the appointing authority. Instead, it mentions, reviewing authority as competent authority to confirm the order. Reviewing authority need not be the appointing authority. Therefore, Rule 10 requires amendment to decide the facts of the report of the subordinate officers submitted to the Appointing Authority.   

5. The judiciary has condemned many times about the misuse of powers on suspension. The Government has also agreed and instructed that power of suspension should be sparingly used. Now, a review committee has been prescribed under Rule 10 (7) to review the suspension cases before the expiry of 90 days. Accordingly, the same review committee must review and not allow any unjustified suspension. During the first 90 days, all the suspension orders should be brought to the review committee for review 15 days before the expiry of 90 days from the date of suspension. However, the Rule 10 is being misused in many areas by the prejudiced officers who place the officials under suspension casually by exercising their power and authority.


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