SERVICE CONDITIONS FOR CIVIL SERVICE: SUSPENSION

Introduction

Suspension is an order that debars public servants from using his powers or performing his duties.It is done to ensure that the bureaucrat doesn’t use his power to tamper with evidence, records or witnesses. It is also done to retain the faith of the public in the system.

Features:

  1. The suspended employee continues to remain bound to service rules applicable to other on duty personnel.
  2. He can be suspended without hearing.
  3. He can be liable for other misconducts.
  4. He can be suspended even on leave / absconding.
  5. A retrospective order for suspension or reinstatement isn’t allowed.

Suspension can be done by the state government in case of All India Officers. The action for suspending has to be taken under extreme conditions as it may damage staff morale.

When a complaint is received against an officer related to administrative lapses a discrete inquiry is conducted before deciding on suspension. In case of vigilance or corruption related cases too a preliminary probe is conducted.

Since a suspended employee receives salary it becomes a burden on the exchequer and can overburden other staff. Thus for minor offences a penalty or warning can be imposed.

Suspension becomes necessary when:

  1. Offence of moral turpitude.
  2. Criminal offence involving arrest and custody imprisonment for more than 48 hours.
  3. Endangering national security.
  4. Public scandal.
  5. Embezzlement and fraud
  6. Serious dereliction of duty
  7. Probability of being found guilty of a major offence after enquiry.
  8. Can tamper with evidence if kept on duty.

Suspended employee can’t resign unless the inquiry has been pending for a long time and there is no fault of his. It would be cheaper to accept resignation as evidence not enough to dismiss him on a grave charge.

Resignation isn’t accepted if inquiry is near completion and evidence exists to dismiss him on a grave charge.

Re-instatment

Government servant has to be reinstated if inquiry doesn’t finish in 2 years. Or evidence to pronounce him guilty but on a lesser charge or no evidence found against him.

If the department promotion committee finds him suitable for promotion they give their recommendations in a sealed cover and after the inquiry the employee is exonerated then the sealed cover recommendations are accepted else ignored. If he is found guilty on a lesser charge then to it is the government’s discretion to act on the recommendation of the DPC.

If the suspended employee dies during suspension then the inquiry is closed and he is paid full salary from the date of his suspension till his death.

Bribery Traps

The Anti corruption agencies can act on complaints of bribe demands and trap the corrupt officer red handed. The agencies have to act only on specific complaints as sting operations aren’t allowed. The money has to be procured by the victim. The agency can however raid a premise to capture the bribe giver and taker red handed without either of them complaining.

ACB / CBI has to follow the standard operating procedure after complaint is filed:

  1. He has to verify the complainants and officials identity and their relation.
  2. He has to take permission of the D.G.P of A.C.B for state government employees or Chief secretary and CM for All India Employees.
  3. He has to lodge FIR with a special judge of Anti corruption.

Independent witnesses have to witness the conversation and transaction.

Note: Phenolpthalein indicator is used to coat the bribe and when the official accepts it his hands are coated with it. When phenolpthalein is dipped in basic solution it turns pink.

Preliminary inquiry:

Is different from a departmental inquiry as it is a fact finding mission. It is done by an supervisor in administration to ascertain facts as a departmental inquiry shall cause embarrassment and lower morale in case of false complaint.

In preliminary inquiry there is no need to give chance to the accused officer to cross examine witness or right to be heard. Supervisor can follow his own procedure to conduct such inquiry. Normally if inquiry is going on accused shouldn’t be allowed to resign as this shall make him eligible for retirement perks which could be taken away if he’s found guilty.

Similarly complaint found bogus then a case can be filed against the complainant too.

CVC doesn’t entertain complaints from anonymous or pseudo-anonymous i.e. false name and address as it is a convenient way to harrass employees.

Complaints against Government servants

The complaint can be of the following types:

  1. Vigilance related
  2. Criminal offence
  3. Administrative related

Vigilance complaints:

These complaints may be connected with demand for bribe, misappropriation of funds, taking valuable gifts from person involved in official dealings. It may also be present in gross negligence, violation of rules, misuse of discretionary powers and reckless decision making.

For such cases a discrete inquiry is conducted followed by a FIR and action.

Criminal Offence:

Offences under the penal code are under this category. These too have to follow the sequence of discreet inquiry, FIR and then court case.

Administrative complaints:

These are related to violation of conduct or service rules. They have to be resolved after departmental proceedings.

Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988

Applies to entire country except J&K and even citizens living outside India.

The following government servants are covered under it:

  1. Government servants of union and state.
  2. PSU, Departmental undertakings, Corporations and company employees.
  3. State funded institutions.
  4. Statutory commissions.

Doesn’t apply to army, navy, airforce, BSF, Coast guard and NSG.

Government can appoint special judges who can order summary trail and give protection to complainant. However to start prosecution against government servants consent of government should be obtained.

Chapter Review

Score more than 80% marks and move ahead else stay back and read again!

Q1: Which is true
1.suspended employee continues to remain bound to service rules applicable to other on duty personnel.
2.He can be suspended without hearing.
3.He can be liable for other misconducts.
4.All

Q2: Suspension becomes necessary when:
1.Offence of moral turpitude.
2.Criminal offence involving arrest and custody imprisonment for more than 48 hours.
3.Endangering national security.
4.all

Q3:Bribery traps have the following features
1.Accused doesnt have trial as he is caught red handed
2.ACB can lay traps without complaints
3.ACB does not need sanction for laying traps
4.Courts cant begin trial without permission

Q4:Prevention of Corruption Act doesnt apply to
1.PSU
2.Nationalised banks
3.Government departments
4.Army

Q5:Phenolphthalein indicator turns ___ when put in basic solution
1.colorless
2.white
3.purple
4.pink