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
It has been reaffirmed in a catena of cases that there is no bar in law for initiation of simultaneous criminal and departmental proceedings on the same set of allegations. In State of Rajasthan v BK Meena and others [(1996) 6 SCC 417 - AIR 1997 SC 13 = 1997 (1) LLJ 746 (SC)], the Hon’ble Supreme Court has emphasized the need for initiating departmental proceedings in such cases in these words:
It must be remembered that interests of administration demand that the undesirable elements are thrown out and any charge of misdemeanour is enquired into promptly. The disciplinary proceedings are meant not really to punish the guilty but to keep the administrative machinery unsullied by getting rid of bad elements. The interest of the delinquent officer also lies in a prompt conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings. If he is not guilty of the charges, his honour should be vindicated at the earliest possible moment and if he is guilty, he should be dealt with promptly according to law. It is not also in the interest of administration that persons accused of serious misdemeanour should be continued in office indefinitely, i.e., for long periods awaiting the result of criminal proceedings.
In Capt M Paul Anthony v Bharat Gold Mines Ltd and another [(1999) 3 SCC 679 ], the Supreme Court has observed that departmental proceed- ings and proceedings in a criminal case can proceed simultaneously as there is no bar in their being conducted simultaneously, though separately.