G.I., Dept. of Per. & Trg., O.M. No. F No. 11012/6/2007-Estt (AI11), dated 21-7-2016
Simultaneous action of prosecution and initiation of departmental proceedings
The undersigned is directed to refer to the Department of Personnel and Training OM of even number, dated 1st August, 2007 on the above subject and to say that in a recent case, Ajay Kumar Choudhary v Union of India Through Its Secretary and another Civil Appeal No. 1912 of 2015, (JT 2015 (2) SC 487), 2015 (2) SCALE, the Apex Court has directed that the currency of a Suspension Order should not extend beyond three months if within this period a Memorandum of Charges/Charge-sheet is not served on the delinquent officer/employee;
It is noticed that in many cases charge-sheets are not issued despite clear prima facie evidence of misconduct on the ground that the matter is under investigation by an investigating agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation. In the aforesaid judgment, the Hon’ble Court has also superseded the direction of the Central Vigilance Commission that pending a criminal investigation, departmental proceedings are to be held in abeyance.
In the subsequent paras, the position as regards the following issues has been clarified:—
(i) Issue of charge-sheet against an officer against whom an investigating agency is conducting investigation or against whom a charge-sheet has been filed in a Court.
(ii) Effect of acquittal in a criminal case on departmental inquiry.
(iii) Action where an employee convicted by a Court files an appeal in a higher Court.