After 90 days of the suspension, if no charge sheet is given, can the officer join back suo moto without any directive in writing?
Answer: Please read our article: Suspension order not to extend beyond 3 months if charge-sheet is not served, says Supreme Court. As mentioned in that article, in the case of Ajay Kumar Choudhary v. Union of India, the Supreme Court has held that a Suspension Order should not extend beyond three months if within this period the Chargesheet is not served on the delinquent officer. The operative part of the directions given by the Supreme Court in the above case is reproduced below:
“We, therefore, direct that the currency of a Suspension Order should not extend beyond three months if within this period the Memorandum of Charges/Chargesheet is not served on the delinquent officer/employee; if the Memorandum of Charges/Chargesheet is served a reasoned order must be passed for the extension of the suspension.”
It has not been specifically made clear in the above decision as to whether the suspension order will automatically get revoked on the completion of 90 days or 3 months, if the charge sheet is not served to the officer concerned within this period.
In the absence of any such clear direction, it may not be possible for a Government officer to join back his duties suo motu immediately after completion of 3 months after suspension if charge sheet is not served, even if no directive to join back the service is issued or even if the suspension is not specifically revoked. What I would suggest is be that you may go to your office and try submitting your joining report citing the above Supreme Court judgment. You may not perhaps be permitted to do so; but, at least you’ll get some response to your representation and/or joining report. Thereafter, you can challenge the suspension order as well as such response, if any, received by you, before the appropriate judicial forum [in your case, i.e., for Central Government servants, it would be Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)] with a prayer seeking directions for revocation of the suspension order from the date of completion of 3 months’ period citing the above SC judgment. Second option is to challenge only the suspension order on completion of 3 months if the charge sheet is not served within that period, without trying to join the duties suo motu.