04: The government on Tuesday directed all
the departments to monitor each departmental inquiry to ensure its completion within
a period of three months and not more than six months in any case.
According to a circular issued by secretary,
General Administration Department (GAD)—the government on Tuesday directed
departments to conduct departmental enquiries in a time–bound manner and
share their outcome with GAD.
“The administrative secretaries/heads
of departments should take periodical review of the vigilance/ departmental
enquiries pending at various stages and issued necessary directions, as may be required,
to ensure their speedy completion,” read the circular.
“All concerned should be informed
that processing Regular Departmental Action(RDA) cases in a timely manner is
essential for good governance and a serious view will be taken on any delay
even while processing cases,” the directive further states.
The government has taken serious note
of violation of rules and procedures by officers while holding
“It has been noticed that the
guidelines and procedures to be adopted in Regular Departmental Enquiries are
still not being followed by the departments, in letter and spirit, which
defeats the very purpose of investigation by the investigating agencies,” the
The GAD has slammed departments for
using “delay tactics” to avoid conclusion of departmental enquiries in
accordance with the rules. “In some cases, it has also been observed that after
receiving of recommendations from the Investigating Agencies, the department
instead of serving charge-sheet to the delinquent public servant(s) choose to
appoint “Inquiry Officer” or constitute “Inquiry Committee”
at their level to decide the matter, which is unnecessary, uncalled for and
often seen as a delaying tactic to avoid conclusion of departmental enquiries
in accordance with the rules. In many other cases, it has been observed that
even after the conclusion of departmental proceedings, Government Orders/Orders
are not issued,” the circular states.
The government has also reiterated
guidelines to be followed by departments while conducting departmental inquiry.
“The Investigating Agencies – Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) or J&K Crime
Branch (CB), in many cases, recommend Regular Departmental Action against
delinquent public servant(s) pursuant to which the departments are required to
initiate departmental proceedings, in accordance with the procedures laid down
in Rule 33 of J&K Civil Services (Classification, Control & Appeal)
Rules, 1956, and conclude the same in a time bound manner” reads the guideline.
The guidelines reveal that the matter
should be critically examined to determine as to whether a case for initiation
of departmental proceedings is made out or not.
“If need arises, clarifications/more
inputs should be obtained from the Investigating Agency/GAD (Vigilance),” the
After the department arrives at a
conclusion for initiation of departmental proceedings, according to the
circular, Articles of Charge should be framed and served upon the delinquent
“Adequate opportunity should be given
to the charged officer/official to present his/her case in person or through an
advocate, and should be given access to all records/documents related to the
case and provide the same if so requested,” the circular states.
It states that adequate opportunity
should be given to the charged officer/official to present his/her case in
person or through an advocate, and should be given access to all
records/documents related to the case.
“After receiving the reply to the
charges framed against the officer/official, same should be analyzed
critically to arrive at a conclusion whether an inquiry officer is required to
be appointed to inquire into the charges so framed or not,” the circular
According to guidelines, an inquiry
Officer should be appointed, with the approval of the competent authority,
after arriving at a conclusion that such an inquiry is actually required. The
inquiry officer should be given fixed time frame to complete the inquiry and
submit the report.
“A presenting officer should also be
appointed who would present the case, on behalf of the Government, before the
Inquiry Officer,” it states.
The government has also directed
that action should be initiated against inquiry officer if he/s he fails to
complete the inquiry in a time bound manner. “The report of the inquiry officer
should then be analyzed and examined carefully to arrive at a decision about
either the exoneration of officer/official from the charges or penalty to be
imposed in accordance with the rules with the approval of the Competent
Authority,” the circular states.