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DEPARTMENTAL INQUIRY

milind1963 Started The Discussion:

FACTS OF THE CASE.

I AM A EMPLOYEE OF ONGC A PSU.

1. SUSPENDED IN DEC 1993.
2. CHARGE SHEET BY DEPT IN OCT 1996.
3.CBI FILED CHARGE SHEET IN NOV 1996.
4.ACQUITTED IN JUNE 2005.
5. SUSPENSION REVOKED IN 2006.
6.DEPARTMENTAL RESUMED IN AUG 2006.
7. I ATTENDED UNDER PROTEST.
8. I FILED A WRIT FOR QUASHING THE APPOINTMENT OF IO. I TOOK A STAND THAT ONGC DOES NOT HAVE INHERENT POWERS TO CONDUCT INQUIRY AT THEIR WHIMS AND FANCY.
9.THE WRIT WAS DISPOSED WITHOUT GOING INTO MERITS OF MY WRIT AND A DIRECTION TO COMPLETE THE PROCEEDINGS WITHIN 3 MONTHS.
10.I HAVE APPEALED AGAINST THE SAID ORDER.
11. REMOVED FROM SERVICE IN SEPT 2008.
NOW MY QUESTION IS THE ACTION OF ONGC I.E RESUMING INQUIRY AFTER 13 YEARS NOT BARRED BY LIMITATION.

C.G.Rajaram - Member Since: Oct 2008
Labour laws are not barred by limitations. If the departmental enquiry and the CBI case were one and the same, the departmental enquiry will become infractuous.

milind1963 - Member Since: Oct 2008
Dear Rajaram,
Thanx for the response.
I am a bit surprised that the labour laws are not barred by limitation. Well in my case labour laws may not be relevant. My main query is whether my employer can issue me a Memo and keep quiet for 13 years and resume the Inquiry, does it not amount to acquisence and wavier by default. On the contrary take an opposite example, suppose my employer issues a showcause notice to me indicating that minor punishment like censure is likely to be imposed on me and imposes the same even after I send a reply. I do not contest the imposition of this penalty , now can I raise an APPEAL 13 years later.
I cases where suspension is resorted to the Employer is duty bound to clear or punish the employee as early as possible, infact CVC has fixed a time frame of 6 months.
In my case charges and evidence both in CBI case and the Departmental Inquiry are same.
Now please send me if there are any citations that will help me if what you have said is true, that the departmental inquiry becomes infructus.
regards,
milind 1963

C.G.Rajaram - Member Since: Oct 2008
May I know whether you have been removed during the pendancy of Writ Appeal? I cite two case laws for your information. I do not know whether it will suit you; but the decisions of the Courts depend upon the presentation of facts.

1)"At a belated stage of about 15 years -= Even when no FIR lodged and no loss put to Bank and money was reovered - Even the criminal proceedings qushed by High Court - Enquiry at such belated stage is unfair and violative of principles of natural justice (Ramesh Chandra Misra vs Chairman and Managing Director, Central Bank of India & Ohters. 1990(61)FLR.766 (Alld.HC).

2)And criminal proceedings - Charges are identical and finding arrived as regards fact involved - Workmen acquitted in criminal procedings - Therefore there is no reason for continuing disciplinary proceedings on same chargs ( Sankai Gannna Vikas Samiti vs. State of U.P. and ohwrs - 1999(81)FLR.817 Allahabad High Court.

milind1963 - Member Since: Oct 2008
Dear Rajaram,
Thanx for the reply,
I. Yes the removal was done during the pendency of the Appeal. To that extent the matter is not yet decided finally in favour of my employer. I have an outside chance but if the appeal is allowed the entire Inquiry becomes infructus.
2.I have sent an appeal as per procedure to the appellate authority and the decision is pending.
3.There is one more supreme court judgment GM Tank Vs State of Gujrat, wherein it was held that when charges are similar and if acqquitted on merits "ON MERITS" then Department cannot proceed. But the glitch here is that accquittal on benefit of doubt is not considered clean accquittal.

I was looking for some judgment that talks about limitation especially in my case as the memo was issued in 1997 and inquiry kept in abeyance but resumed in 2006. Such a case will help me a lot.
regards,
Milind.

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