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Thursday, 4 March, 2010

New Bill wants judges to be mum on political issues

New Delhi: The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill proposing to lay down new norms and guidelines for judges of the higher judiciary would prefer the judges to keep mum when it comes to political issues. The Bill, slated to replace the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968 and due for placing before the Cabinet, sees two non-existent devils in the judiciary and has gone ahead in providing counter-mecha-nisms to them. It is an unwritten yet strictly followed code -- judges of the high courts or the Supreme Court never speak out on matters falling within the political domain.They also scrupulously adhere to the judicial discipline of not commenting on a judgment delivered by them.Yet,the new Bill proposes that it would be a misconduct if a judge gives an interview to the media on judgments delivered by him or participates in public debates or expresses views on political matters.

There is a proposal to set up a scrutiny committee comprising judges in every high court to deal with complaints against judges.If the committee finds merit in any complaint it would forward it for investigation by a high-level Judicial Oversight Committee.If the latter committee feels action is needed to be taken against the erring judge,it will send a recommendation to the President to that effect,the Bill proposes. The Bill also incorporates a clause restricting the time to three months for a judge to deliver a judgment after conclusion of the arguments in a case.


Targets set up by cat benches to dispose pending cases

The number of cases filed in Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has been increasing during the recent past. During the period July, 2007 to December, 2008 a number of corporations/societies and other authorities were brought within the jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal, which raised the number of autonomous bodies/corporations/societies owned or controlled by the Central Government from 47 to 191. As a result, a few thousand cases were transferred from various High Courts and other Subordinate Courts to the respective Benches of the Central Administrative Tribunal and this is one of the reasons for increase in the number of cases registered in the Tribunal. The number of cases filed in the Central Administrative Tribunal, increased and there was corresponding increase in the rate of disposal of cases, and overall pendency has been under control. As on January 31, 2010, pendencey in respect of all the Benches of the Tribunal is 22440. During the year, 1824 cases were instituted and 1911 were disposed. For 2009, 24496 cases were instituted, 23681 were disposed and 22527 were pending. The following steps have been taken to clear the pending cases:

(i) Monthly Pendency report is called for from all the benches of Central Administrative Tribunal and the rate of disposal is personally monitored by the Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal

(ii) Targets are set up by the Chairman for the Benches.

(iii) During the All India Conference 2009, the Benches were advised to give priority to disposal of old cases pending since 2004 to 2007.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Shri Prithviraj Chavan in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
(source-CG Employees news)

Tuesday, 2 March, 2010

CAT asks Delhi Police to inquire afresh charge against constable

New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has asked the Delhi Police to conduct a fresh inquiry against a constable who was allegedly found sleeping during duty hours and whose service tenure was cut by three years as punishment. Quashing the order of the appellate authority, the CAT directed the Delhi Police to rehear his appeal by a Joint Commissioner rank official.
Ghaziabad-resident Manbir Singh, a constable with the Delhi Police, was found guilty of sleeping during duty hours by the appellate authority.

The appellate authority, while holding a departmental inquiry against an employee, should go into the allegations independently rather than basing its decisions on on extraneous material, the CAT, comprising Vice Chairman M Ramachandran and Member N D Dayal, said. "The appellate authority has rested its decision on extraneous material and not on the evidence that has forth come in the inquiry.
Delhi HC asks school to allow accused to appear in exam

New Delhi, Feb 26(PTI) The Delhi High Court today directed the principal of a NCT government-run school to allow a student, who was expelled following a chargesheet against him for allegedly molesting a girl in October last year, to appear in the class-XI examinations. Directing the principal to allow the student to appear in the examination, Justice G S Sistani stayed the January 28 order passed by the school expelling him from the school. "Examination of the petitioner(accused) shall be held in the office of Principal of the school and the Principal is directed to issue admit card to the petitioner forthwith," said Justice Sistani in an order.

Meanwhile, the court issued a notice to the Directorate of Education, NCT Delhi on a plea by the accused that the school has violated the provisions of the Delhi Education Act.

Sunday, 28 February, 2010


The staff side in the National Council (JCM) had made a demand for enhancing the ceiling on the number of cases a retired Government servant can take up as Defence Assistant. In the light of the discussion in the meeting of the National Council in this regard, it has been decided to raise the limit of cases from five to seven. Hence in supersession of the earlier order on the subject, it has been decided in terms of rule 14 (8) (b) of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 that the Government servant concerned may take the assistance of a retired Government servant subject to the following conditions :-

(i) The retired Government servant concerned should have, retired from service under the Central Government.

(ii) If the retired Government servant is also a legal practitioner, the restrictions on engaging a legal practitioner by a delinquent Government servant to present the case on his behalf, contained in Rule 14 (8) of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 would apply.

(iii) The retired Government servant concerned should not have, in any manner, been associated with the case at investigation stage or otherwise in his official capacity.

(iv) The retired Government servant concerned should not act as a defence assistant in more than seven cases at a time. The retired Government servant should satisfy the inquiring officer that he does not have more than five cases at hand including the case in question.


Minor Penalty – holding of inquiry in specific circumstances :-

The Staff Side of the Committee of the National Council (JCM) set up to consider revision of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 had suggested that Rule 16 (1) should be amended so as to provide for holding an inquiry even for imposition of minor penalty, if the accused employee requested for such an inquiry.

2. The above suggestion has been given a detailed consideration. Rule 16 (1-A) of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 provide for the holding of an inquiry even when a minor penalty is to be imposed in the circumstances indicated therein. In other cases, where a minor penalty is to be imposed, Rule 16 (1) ibid leaves it to the discretion of disciplinary authority to decide whether an inquiry should be held or not. The implication of this rule is that on receipt of representation of Government servant concerned on the imputations of misconduct or misbehavior communicated to him, the disciplinary authority should apply its mind to all facts and circumstances and the reasons urged in the representation for holding a detailed inquiry and form an opinion whether an inquiry is necessary or not. In case where a delinquent Government servant has asked for inspection of certain documents and cross examination of the prosecution witnesses, the disciplinary authority should naturally apply its mind more closely to the request and should not reject the request solely on the ground that in inquiry is not mandatory. If the records indicate that, notwithstanding the points urged by the Government servant, the disciplinary authority could, after due consideration, come to the conclusion that an inquiry is not necessary, it should say so in writing indicating its reasons, instead of rejecting the request for holding inquiry summarily without any indication that it has applied its mind to the request, as such an action could be construed as denial of natural justice.

Enquiry mandatory in certain types of the penalty of witholding of increments :-

It has been decided in the meeting of National Council held on the 6th and 7th November, 1967, that in cases where increments are withheld for a period of more than three years or where increments are stopped with cumulative effect or where such stoppage is likely to affect adversely the pensionary entitlement, the procedure of holding an enquiry should invariably be followed.

As the Ministry of Finance etc. are aware, clause (b) of sub-rule (1) of rule 16 of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 makes provisions for holding an enquiry in the manner laid down in sub-rules (3) to (23) of rule 14 ibid in every case in which the disciplinary authority is of the opinion that such an inquiry is necessary. In view of the decision of the National Council, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, it has been decided that, notwithstanding the provision contained in rule 16 (1) (b) of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965, if in a case it is proposed, after considering that representation, if any, submitted by a Government servant, to withhold increments of pay for a period exceeding three years or to withhold increments of pay with cumulative effect for any period or if the penalty of withholding of increments is likely to affect adversely the amount of pension payable to the Government servant, an enquiry shall invariably be held in the manner laid down in sub-rules (3) to (23) of rule 14 ibid.


10. Suspension

(1) The appointing authority or any authority to which it is subordinate or the disciplinary authority or any other authority empowered in that behalf by the President, by general or special order, may place a Government servant under suspension-

(a) where a disciplinary proceeding against him is contemplated or is pending; or

(aa) where, in the opinion of the authority aforesaid, he has engaged himself in activities prejudicial to the interest of the security of the State; or

(b) where a case against him in respect of any criminal offence is under investigation, inquiry or trial:
Provided that, except in case of an order of suspension made by the Comptroller and Auditor – General in regard to a member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service and in regard to an Assistant Accountant General or equivalent (other than a regular member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service), where the order of suspension is made by an authority lower than the appointing authority, such authority shall forthwith report to the appointing authority the circumstances in which the order was made.

(2) A Government servant shall be deemed to have been placed under suspension by an order of appointing authority -

(a) with effect from the date of his detention, if he is detained in custody, whether on a criminal charge or otherwise, for a period exceeding forty-eight hours;

(b) with effect from the date of his conviction, if, in the event of a conviction for an offence, he is sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding forty-eight hours and is not forthwith dismissed or removed or compulsorily retired consequent to such conviction.

EXPLANATION – The period of forty-eight hours referred to in clause (b) of this sub-rule shall be computed from the commencement of the imprisonment after the conviction and for this purpose, intermittent periods of imprisonment, if any, shall be taken into account.

(3) Where a penalty of dismissal, removal or compulsory retirement from service imposed upon a Government servant under suspension is set aside in appeal or on review under these rules and the case is remitted for further inquiry or action or with any other directions, the order of his suspension shall be deemed to have continued in force on and from the date of the original order of dismissal, removal or compulsory retirement and shall remain in force until further orders.

(4) Where a penalty of dismissal, removal or compulsory retirement from service imposed upon a Government servant is set aside or declared or rendered void in consequence of or by a decision of a Court of Law and the disciplinary authority, on a consideration of the circumstances of the case, decides to hold a further inquiry against him on the allegations on which the penalty of dismissal, removal or compulsory retirement was originally imposed, the Government servant shall be deemed to have been placed under suspension by the Appointing Authority from the date of the original order of dismissal, removal or compulsory retirement and shall continue to remain under suspension until further orders :

Provided that no such further inquiry shall be ordered unless it is intended to meet a situation where the Court has passed an order purely on technical grounds without going into the merits of the case.

“(5)(a) Subject to the provisions contained in sub-rule (7), an order of suspension made or deemed to have been made under this rule shall continue to remain in force until it is modified or revoked by the authority competent to do so.”

(b) Where a Government servant is suspended or is deemed to have been suspended (whether in connection with any disciplinary proceeding or otherwise), and any other disciplinary proceeding is commenced against him during the continuance of that suspension, the authority competent to place him under suspension may, for reasons to be recorded by him in writing, direct that the Government servant shall continue to be under suspension until the termination of all or any of such proceedings.

(c) An order of suspension made or deemed to have been made under this rule may at any time be modified or revoked by the authority which made or is deemed to have made the order or by any authority to which that authority is subordinate.

(6) An order of suspension made or deemed to have been made under this rule shall be reviewed by the authority competent to modify or revoke the suspension, before expiry of ninety days from the effective date of suspension, on the recommendation of the Review Committee constituted for the purpose and pass orders either extending or revoking the suspension. Subsequent reviews shall be made before expiry of the extended period of suspension. Extension of suspension shall not be for a period exceeding one hundred and eighty days at a time.

(7) An order of suspension made or deemed to have been made under sub-rules (1) or (2) of this rule shall not be valid after a period of ninety days unless it is extended after review, for a further period before the expiry of ninety days :

Provided that no such review of suspension shall be necessary in the case of deemed suspension under sub-rule (2), if the Government servant continues to be under suspension at the time of completion of ninety days of suspension and the ninety days period in such case will count from the date the Government servant detained in custody is released from detention or the date on which the fact of his release from detention is intimated to his appointing authority, whichever is later.”