Question: The department has initiated a departmental inquiry against me for committing false entries in the log book. No charge sheet, evidence, report of inquiry officer and materials had served to me before inflicting punishment. I want to know whether the disciplinary authority is bound to furnish the report of the inquiry officer before inflicting punishment?
My superior officer had seized the log book and all relevant files before sending a complaint against me. I have been on suspension since october 2013 without a subsistence allowance. My family is living in vegarancy. Recently the department has lodged a first information report against me. How could I save me and my family?
Asked from: Uttar Pradesh
Prima facie the entire departmental enquiry is illegal and perverse. The disciplinary authority did not afford you an opportunity of hearing. It is the legal duty of the disciplinary officer to furnish the report of the inquiry officer to the delinquent officer before punishing him.
Report of inquiry officer
You have the right to know about the charges levelled against you. Furnishing the findings of the inquiry report is the only medium to convey the charged employee about the charges levelled against him. Inquiry report conveys the information to the delinquent employee:
- What incriminating materials have collected during the inquiry
- Name of witnesses who prove the charges
- Nature of evidence found against you
- Foundation of charges
In Avtar Singh vs Inspector General of Police Punjab 1968 Serv. LR (SC) the Supreme Court has held that a delinquent officer has the constitutional right to know the findings of the inquiry officer.
The Supreme Court further held that every public servant is entitled to have the whole of the matter brought to his notice before he was asked to show cause why particular punishment should not be meted out to him.
Therefore, not furnishing the inquiry officer’s report has rendered the entire proceeding illegal. It also violates the principle of natural justice. Furnishing the report of the inquiry officer ensures fairness in proceeding. It also empowers the delinquent officer to request the disciplinary authority to remove or change the inquiry officer if he is discharging his duty illegally.
You should file a writ petition in the High Court under Article 226 of the constitution of India. The High Court may quash the entire proceeding along with the punishment order. You can submit a representation to the disciplinary authority and seek reinstatement along with consequential benefits.