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No. I.X/Inst-Adm-L Subject: Dated, the 24th May’ 2001
GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO BE FOLLOWED IN PRELIMINARY—ENQUIRIES AND DEPARTMENTAL ENQUIRIES.
Procedure for conducting Preliminary Enquiries and Departmental Enquiries has been laid down in para 6.7 of Establishment Manual 1976 and Rule 27 of CRPF Rules 1955 respectively. However, to supplement the procedure, already in existence, following instructions should be carefully studied and implemented in both letter and spirit. PRELIMINARY ENQUIRY A Preliminary Enquiry or fact finding enquiry should be held for determining whether there is a prima-facie case for holding a regular Departmental Enquiry against the delinquent or there is a need for termination of the service of the employee, in accordance with the service rules . The report of the PE cannot be used in the Departmental Enquiry, without furnishing a copy to the delinquent. The evidence taken in the Preliminary Enquiry stage cannot also be used for Departmental Enquiry, unless, witnesses are examined, afresh or at least they are tendered for cross-examination. A PE is conducted with the following objectives:(a) To ascertain the prima facie default of the allegations. (b) Evidence available in support of the said allegations. (c) To enable the superior officer of the Force to form judicious opinion regarding nature of the proceedings, that may be drawn up, against the defaulters, depending upon the gravity of the offence committed. A PE can be held ex-parte, not merely, for the satisfaction of the concerned authority. However, for the sake of fairness, the Govt. servant should be given an opportunity to give his account pertaining to the allegations against him. This may be in the form of a written reply or an oral statement, reduced to writing by the officer conducting the P.E. In case the Govt. servant fails to respond within the reasonable opportunity given, the P.E can be concluded without waiting for the statement of the Govt. servant. This opportunity is necessary as it allows the officer conducting the P.E. to form an objective view on the basis of evidence gathered. It also avoids harassment to a Govt. servant, who may have had a very valid reason for his action.;
The method and procedure of conducting a P.E. has been given under para-6.7 of Estt. Manual CRPF. In order to further streamline the P.E. report, the report should be prepared as under:Para-1 Reference of communication through which the complaint was received, name of the complainant with address, and the name of person against whom the complaint is made. Para-2 Point-wise listing of allegations. Appendix-1 List of witnesses, with statements recorded in original, including statement of Govt. servant. The witnesses should sign all such statements. Appendix-2 List of documents with copies of documents examined during P.E. Para-3 Each allegation to be taken up separately in the report, in the following manner: Allegation No. 1 – Gist of allegation in brief discussion of both oral and documentary evidence, collected, pertinent to the point and conclusion,. Regarding the particular allegation. Similarly allegation 2, 3 and so forth will be dealt with separately. Para-4 Conclusion – On the basis of enquiry on each specific allegation. Opinion regarding the specific misconducts of the officer, which have been established prima facie, against the Govt. servant, should be given. In the event of disciplinary proceedings, consequent to the P.E. original documents would be required. The officer conducting the P.E. should ensure
that these documents are placed in safe custody with specific instructions, regarding their preservation, till the final outcome of the action on the P.E.
DEPARTMENTAL ENQUIRY 1. Once a decision is taken to institute a Departmental Enquiry, it is essential to frame article of charges and statement of imputation. Accordingly the charge-sheet should be based on clear cut evidence by including material, relating to the specific act of misconduct, either in the charge or in the statement of imputation. The statement should give a full recitation of the specific act of motion and omission on the part of the delinquent. It should also preferably be mentioned any other circumstances, if proposed to be taken into account including admissions, if any made. If previous bad records /punishment is proposed to be taken into account, it should be mentioned as a specific charge. A reasonable and just attitude should be adopted while framing the charges and there should not be any element of bias / vindictiveness so as to avoid any adverse comment from the higher authorities, including judicial body. An attempt to multiply the charges should be avoided. A single and compact charge is better than 3 – 4 meaningless charges. It is not the quantity but the quality that matters. The statement of imputation must be elaborated and not merely a copy of the charges. After the charge is delivered to the accused by the Disciplinary Authority or under his signatures, by the officer authorized by him, in this behalf, reply of the delinquent if any shall be considered and if unsatisfactory, the disciplinary authority shall appoint an Enquiry Officer to conduct the departmental enquiry against the accused or conduct the departmental enquiry himself. If reply is satisfactory the matter would be closed. The Inquiry Officer shall call upon the accused to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to each of the charges specifically. After the plea of the accused is recorded, evidence shall be let in, by the Enquiry Officer, in support of each charge, whether the delinquent has pleaded guilty or not guilty to it. The evidence shall be material to the charge and may either be oral or documentary. If oral; (i) (ii) It shall be direct, and It shall be recorded by the officer conducting the enquiry himself in the presence of the accused, in the manner in which
evidence of a witness is recorded in judicial trial, except that, it is not on oath, and (iii) The accused shall be allowed to cross-examine the witness. Cross examination of the witness by the accused shall be recorded in the words of the witness, in the form of a narrative except, where the enquiry officer is of the view that the whole cross examination or any part of it, should be recorded in the form of questions and answers. If the accused declines to cross-examine the witness, it should be specifically recorded and his signatures obtained ,to that effect. Additional prosecution witnesses should not be examined after defence has been let in. For reasons, to be recorded in writing, the Enquiry Officer may examine any other witness essential for the Enquiry, with due notice to the delinquent. When documents are relied upon in support of charge, they shall be put in evidence as exhibits, through witnesses. For example, if an office order is sought to be proved as an Exhibit, the officer who signed the original, must be examined as a witness and asked, if the said order is signed by him. If such officer cannot be easily procured as a witness, the official who has the custody of such order and who is conversant with the signatures of the officer, who signed same, must be examined to identify the signatures, in the document. Copies of record be proved from the original. The accused shall, before he is called upon to make his defence, be allowed to inspect all such exhibits and obtain copies thereof. After the close of the prosecution evidence the statement of the accused shall be recorded by the Inquiry Officer in the form of simple questions and answers related to the charge, the evidence, and the documents duly proved as exhibits. The accused should not be persuaded, induced or coerced to give a statement. If he declines to answer a question or make a statement, this fact may be specially recorded. The statement must be signed by the accused. If he refuses to sign the statement, this fact, too must be noted and attested by the Enquiry Officer, preferably and also by the staff present. If the accused has pleaded guilty and does not challenge the statements of witnesses, the enquiry be closed and findings be submitted to the Disciplinary Authority. In case, the Disciplinary Authority conducts the enquiry himself, he will close the enquiry and pass orders.
If the accused has not pleaded guilty and has not admitted the statements of witnesses, he should be called upon to enter his defence and file a written statement and a list of defence witnesses whom he may like to examine within 15 days. If the accused does not file a written statement, the Enquiry Officer conducting the enquiry, after the expiry of 15 days shall once again examine him. If the accused refuses to cite any witness or to produce any evidence in his defence, the proceedings shall be closed for orders. If the accused produces any evidence, the Enquiry Officer shall proceed to record the same. The defence witness should be allowed to be cross-examined by the prosecution, if it is represented through the presenting officer. If there is no presenting Officer, the Enquiry Officer may put questions to the witness to test his veracity. But the Enquiry Officer should, at no stage adopt a partisan attitude and resume the role of a prosecutor himself.
If the Enquiry Officer considers that the evidence of any witness or any document which the accused wants to produce in his defence is not relevant or material to the issues involved in the enquiry, he may refuse to call such witness or to allow such document to be produced in evidence, but in all such cases he shall briefly record his reasons for considering the evidence as inadmissible or irrelevant. When the defence evidence has been brought on record, the Enquiry Officer shall close the proceedings for orders.
13. The Enquiry Officer acts quasi judicially in departmental proceedings. He is absolutely free to regulate the proceedings of the enquiry and take decisions during the enquiry on the representation and objectives raised by both sides. The provisions of Indian Evidence Act and Criminal Procedure Code are not applicable to DEs and the standard of proof required is preponderance of probability and is distinct and different from the criminal trial. The Enquiry should confirm to the principles of natural justice and the delinquent should be given a reasonable opportunity of submitting his defence. Once the enquiry
officer has signed his report, he becomes functo officio and cannot make any change in his report. 14. After the receipt of the report of the enquiry officer, the disciplinary authority should apply its mind to the charges , findings of the enquiry officer and evidence adduced during the enquiry and then record its findings. The disciplinary authority may disagree with the findings of the Enquiry Officer and give his own findings. The disciplinary authority should supply a copy of the report of the Enquiry Officer / disagreement report, to the delinquent for making representation before passing final orders on that DE. The disciplinary authority should ensure that in accordance with the principles of natural justice, the quantum of punishment awarded should be proportionate of the gravity of the charge. However it has to be kept in mind that a person can not be reduced to a lower ,than the post ,for which he was appointed, at the time of his first entry in service, in a substantive capacity. For example a person who is originally appointed as a sub-Inspector on substantive basis, can not be reduced to a rank even as a penal measure, below, that of a sub-Inspector or one in a different cadre but equivalent thereof i.e. below sub-Inspector,. However this difficulty will not arise in case of a promotee who can always be reduced to the rank /post, from which he was promoted to the present rank. 15. There is no bar of conducing a DE simultaneously or during the pendency of criminal trial. Normally the charges should be distinct from the charges, which are the subject of the criminal trial, but there is no bar as such in conducting DE on similar charges, which are subject matter of the criminal trial. A DE may be held even if the accused has been acquitted in a criminal case giving him the benefit of doubt. Even in cases of hon’ble acquittal, the departmental proceedings can be drawn, as a standard of proof required is different and distinct than what is required in a criminal trial. 16. Whenever order is passed under Section 12(1) of CRPF Act 1949 and Rule 27 (cc) (i) of CRPF Rules 1955 i.e. order of dismissal on imprisonment etc, the disciplinary authority should go through the judgment of the Criminal Court thoroughly and consider all facts and circumstances of the case which led to the conviction and sentence of imprisonment and pass a self contained and well reasoned speaking order, justifying dismissal /removal etc. Such order can be issued without waiting for the period of filing of an appeal or, if an appeal has been filed, without waiting for the decision ,in the first court of appeal.
17. Where an order under Section 12 of the CRPF Act 1949 or Rule 27(cc) of CRPF Rules 1955 is passed after some lapse of period, the authority passing the order should direct that the order shall come into force, from the date of issue and not from the retrospective date. The individual concerned may not be paid salary for the period ,he has remained in confinement, consequent to his conviction as laid down in Section 13 of the CRPF Act. If the member of the Force has, during the intervening period, not gone under confinement, the period so intervening, excluding , the period of confinement, should be treated as duty and he shall be paid the pay and allowances for the said period. 18. In the context of imposition of departmental penalty on a member of the Force on the ground of his conviction (non imprisonment) on a criminal charge as contained in rule 27(cc) of CRPF rules 1955 , the disciplinary authority should carefully examine the court judgment . After weighing all the facts and circumstances of the case, the disciplinary authority should decide the imposition of penalty and its quantum. In considering the matter the disciplinary authority should take into account the entire conduct of delinquent employee, the gravity of misconduct committed by him, the impact, which his misconduct is likely to have, on the Force and the extenuating circumstances and other redeeming features. The conviction of the accused will be taken as sufficient proof of misconduct. The penalty should not be arbitrary or grossly disproportionate or unwarranted by the facts and circumstances of the case. 19. In exceptional situation, where the requirement of holding a DE needs to be dispensed with, as per procedure contained in rule 27 (cc) (ii)(iii) of CRPF Rules 1955, the disciplinary authority should keep in mind the scope of second proviso of Article 311 (2) of the Constitution of India and exercise its power with due caution and consideration. It is necessary for the disciplinary authority to record, in writing, the reasons dispensing with the enquiry and such reasons should be kept in the relevant file. It is open for the disciplinary authority to convey in brief the reasons which weighed to dispense with the enquiry and incorporate it in brief in the final order
Conviction per se can neither form a basis of dismissal or neither removal nor it warrants any such penalties automatically. Dismissal/removal cannot ipso facto become effective. It is only the conduct of a member of the Force leading to his conviction, which is the testing ground on which the punishment has to operate and not conviction/imprisonment itself. Therefore, before any penalty is imposed on the member of the force after the conviction/ imprisonment, an opportunity of being heard is to be granted to him. The authority has to apply his mind to the facts and circumstances of the case and examine the conduct of the member of the Force, which led to his conviction. After giving due consideration to all the relevant facts, the disciplinary authority has then to pass the speaking order, while awarding penalty. It is to be justified in the order of punishment that on what circumstances the extreme penalty of dismissal has to be imposed on the delinquent. There can never be a mechanical order of dismissal or removal on the basis of conviction or imprisonment alone. The disciplinary authority shall then record his findings and pass orders. The disciplinary authority may disagree with the findings of the Enquiry Officer and give his own findings. The final orders passed in the enquiry shall be communicated to the accused in writing and his acknowledgement obtained. If the accused refuses to give or sign an acknowledgement, this fact will be recorded by the disciplinary authority or by the officer authorized to communicate the order. The final order must be a speaking order . It must fall in to three parts viz. (a) the charge, (b) the gist of evidence as assessed by the disciplinary authority with his finding on each issue and (c) the process of reasoning. It should be a self-contained and a comprehensive judgment. Each Departmental Enquiry file should have an index as follows: (a) Preliminary Enquiry papers, (b) Articles of Charge, memo of imputations, memorandum of evidence, (c ) Delinquent(s) statement of ‘guilty’ or ‘non guilty’ (d) Statement of Prosecution witnesses, (e) Prosecution Exhibits
(f) Statement of delinquent, (g) Written statement of delinquent, if any, (h) Statement of Defence witnesses, (i) Defence Exhibits, (j) Findings of the Inquiry Officer, (k) Final order passed by the Disciplinary authority and (l) Acknowledgement of accused regarding receipt /communication of final order.
25. If the Commandant is away on long leave and if an officer is appointed to officiate in his vacancy, such officer can exercise all the powers, including the statutory powers, under section 12 of the CRPF Act 1949 and Rule 27 (cc) of CRPF Rules 1955 vested in a Commandant. Difficulty is likely to arise only when an officer is not appointed to officiate as Commandant but is directed to hold current charge of the duties of the Commandant in addition to his own duties. In that case, he is required to act in accordance with the instructions contained in note 2 below table to Rule 27 of the CRPF Rules 1955. This note authorizes the officer holding current charge as Commandant when the post of Commandant remains unfilled for a period of over one month at a time, to exercise the powers of punishment vested in the Commandant, except the powers of ordering dismissal or removal from the Force in respect of a member of the Force. 26. U/S 11(2) of the CRPF Act 1949, any gazetted officer when in command of, any detachment of the Force, away from the headquarters ,may award the following punishments, provided he is specifically authorized in this behalf by the Commandant:Confinement to Quarter, Lines or Camp for a term not exceeding one month. Confinement in Q.G. for not more than 28 days with or without punishment drill or extra guard, fatigue or other duty. Whenever the deployment of the unit demands for exercise of this power by the officers at the various difficult out-posts and in detachments, the Commandant should examine the desirability of delegation of such powers. The quantum and nature of the punishment to be awarded to a member of the Force is left to the discretion of the authority competent to pass such orders in each case.
28. Where an order under section 12 of the CRPF Act 1949 or under Rule 27(cc) of CRPF Rules 1955 is passed after some lapse of period, the authority passing the order should direct that the order will come into force from the date of issue and not from the retrospective date. The individual concerned may not be paid salary for the period, he has remained in confinement, consequent to his conviction as laid down in Section 13 of the CRPF Act. If the member of the Force has, during the intervening period, gone under confinement, such intervening period, excluding the period of confinement, should be treated as duty and he shall be paid the pay and allowances for the said period. TIME SCHEDULE FOR COMPLETION OF ENQUIRIES
A preliminary enquiry should be completed within seven days from the date of issue of orders. A Departmental Enquiry should be completed within three months from the date of issue of orders. Court of Enquiries (including M.T. accidents) should be completed within 3 months from the date of issue of orders.
TIME SCHEDULE FOR DISPOSAL OF APPEALS (i) (ii) (iii) Within 30 days (including the time taken in obtaining Comments/ documents from the range/ Units /GC). By the IGP- Within 45 days (including the time taken in obtaining Comments/documents from the Range DIGP) By the DG- Within 60 days (including the time taken in obtaining Comments/documents from the Sector IGP) OF DEPARTMENTAL ENQUIRIES By DIGP-
SPEEDY FINALISATION AGAINST OFFICERS
With a view to avoid delay in completion of the Departmental Enquiries against delinquent officers, the following instructions be adhered to :(a) The enquiry is to be held on day-to-day basis by the enquiry officer. The enquiry officer should also dispose of such matters, which can be disposed of at his level without referring to this Directorate. (b) The delinquent officer should be allowed to correspond directly with the Enquiry officer in matters connected with the enquiry and such correspondence need not be routed through prescribed channel or this Directorate General. (c) It shall be ensured that normally no delinquent officer shall be allowed to proceed on leave or detailed on any course/duty etc. before completion of the enquiry. (d) Two copies of enquiry report shall be sent to the Directorate General by the enquiry officer alongwith original enquiry file. (e) All efforts be made to complete the enquiry within a period of 3 months to avoid the generation of legal complications. As and when it is felt by the Enquiry Officer that enquiry is not likely to be completed within a period of three months due to any reason, the same shall be brought to the notice of the Directorate General immediately, by the enquiry officer so that appropriate remedial steps can be taken and M.H.A. can be informed . (f) While conducting disciplinary proceedings against an officer, a copy of Preliminary Enquiry report, if conducted and a copy of the explanation of the delinquent officer should be kept on the file with parawise comments thereon. ATTENDENCE OF A MEMBER OF THE SUSPENSION FORCE DURING
When a person is under suspension and DE is contemplated against him, it is emphasized that the competent authority, while issuing suspension order, must clearly mention in the order of suspension that while under suspension, such person will attend morning parade, evening Roll Call or Check Roll Call etc. apart from all other liabilities prescribed in the existing instructions.
The instructions contained in this Standing order shall supersede all other instructions contained in Circular Orders No.6/1975, 31/1978, 28/1979, 32/1980, 3/1981, 7/1981, 6/1985, 8/1985,18/1985, 20/1985, 22/1985, 6/1986, 12/1987, 2/1988 , 22/1989, 11/1991 and 5/2000.
( Dr. Trinath Mishra ) DG,CRPF No. I.X/Inst-Adm-L Dated, the 24th May’ 2001
Copy forwarded for information and necessary action to :1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. The Addl. DG, NWZ, CRPF, Chandigarh. The IsGP, CRPF (Sectors & Ops) and RAF. The IGP ISA, CRPF All DisGP, CRPF (Range & Ops) All Addl. DisGP, GCs, CRPF (including SGC) All Commandants, Bns, (including SDG, RAF, CWS, Signal Bns) All Principals, CTCs/RTCs, CRPF All CMOs, BHs, CRPF. All Audit Officers, CRPF
( A.K.Singh ) DIG(Adm) CRPF
Internal All DisGP/ DFA/ ADIsGP/ PRO/ DCs & branches/ PS to DG/Addl. DG/IsGP
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