Eligibility of officer on contract exercising authority of competency

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Jayasankar Nair 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #1164

    Request reference of Supreme Court Judgement on disqualification of contractual/temporary officer exercising the power of Competent authority to initiate disciplinary action on regular/permanent employee in Central Government Service.

    Also request clarification whether I can issue notice under Section 80 CPC in my individual capacity under the circumstance that (1) I am confident of incompetency of officer issued charge sheet (2) Officer not willing to provide documentary proof on competency inspite of my request. Specifically under the circumstance that the higher authority also found biased.

    Thanking you.

  • #1174

    As far as I understand if a person is holding the position of competent authority in a lawful manner and if there is no legal defect in his occupying that position, then he should be in a position to exercise the powers of that authority. The source of his recruitment should not come in the way, provided there is no legal defect in his appointment. Temporary only implies that he would not be there for regular duration but in so far as he is lawfully appointed to a position, he should be in a position to exercise the powers attached to that position during whatever tenure he has got. Of course, if there is a specific condition in his temporary / contractual appointment that he would not exercise such-and-such power, then it may be a different situation.

    And, if there is a legal defect in his appointment and in his occupying that position (of competent authority), then you may even file a writ of quo warranto.

    Since you have mentioned about a charge sheet against a central government servant, I don’t know why do you want to issue a notice under Section 80 CPC. A Central Government servant can directly challenge a charge sheet issued to him in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), if there is a legal defect in the charge sheet. There is no need for issuing a notice under Section 80 CPC or, in fact, even for filing a suit under CPC. Such matters are covered under CAT now.     

    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

    • #1177

      My heartiest thanks for your very prompt and kind reply. Your clarification cleared by doubts.

  • #2025

    The officer who initiated disciplinary action against me is not competent to do so, which I appealed to his higher authority. The higher authority of this officer is also biased and therefore my querry is not responded by either disciplinary authority or his authority.

    In the meanwhile, I understand that a disciplinary action is undergoing against the officer who initiated action against me for his misconduct. Under such circumstance, I have a doubt whether this charge sheeted officer can be permitted to exercise role of disciplinary authority on his others, pending decision on his own case. As far as my general understanding, such permissions are likely to give room for arm-twisting act. Is there any judicial directions on such matter. While, I agree that I can approach judiciary or CAT challenging legal validity/appointment of my disciplinary authority. Still, considering the delay in decision making by judiciary, I wish to exercise all available options.

    Thanking you in advance sir.

  • #2044

    Sir, Please look into my request. I appealed to my higher authority about incompetency of Disciplinary authority and Inquiry officer. My higher authority is not responding and IO planned to proceed with the enquiry. As the litigation is a very time taking and expensive affair, I approved higher authority for financial assistance for litigation. He is not responding to this request also. Confirm correctness of my request for finance assistance. If at all I file a case, can I got this non-operation for financial assistance also to prove my stand.

    Request guidance please.


  • #2057

    You have mentioned that the officer who initiated the disciplinary inquiry against you, is not competent to do so. You have also mentioned that the inquiry officer has planned to proceed with the inquiry and the higher authority is also not doing anything in this regard. In such situation, the only remedy would be to challenge the disciplinary inquiry against you in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) since it has been initiated by incompetent authority, as per your version. You may file an Original Application (OA) in CAT to quash and set aside such inquiry and meanwhile obtain a stay against the inquiry.

    As regards the issue of the officer himself facing departmental action, that is a separate issue between him and the government. Your case will be decided on the merits of your own case, including on the issue of whether the officer who initiated the disciplinary inquiry against you was competent to do so.


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

  • #2061

    Ok Sir. Thank you very much.

  • #3426

    As I was about to proceed in my matter with CAT, I got an intimation from my higher authority i.e Govt of India, wherein they assured me that the concerned authorities were communicating to strictly follow the due procedures.
    While the action of Inquiry officer is still not as per procedure, I conveyed my reservation to attend enquiry pending receipt of applicable rules in the subject matter. By disregarding my request, Inquiry officer proceeded to conduct ex-parte and issued initial daily log which just indicated about my absence.

    In the daily log below my name, it was stated as “accussed employee”.It offends my sentiment as I am an officer of Gp B status, put in over 30 yrs of experience.

    So, I just want to know whether the charge sheeted employee could be termed as “Accussed Employee” by Inquiry Officer and Presenting Officer. As the company rule book on the subject of Conduct and Discipline Rules, no where used/state the term “Accused employee” for charge sheeted employee.

    Request clarification to my view point, so that I can take up the matter further. Also please confirm whether I can file an FIR for such assertion on my dignity.

    sir please confirm whether my view point is right or wrong.

  • #3436

    Request kindly clarify my querry whether the Inquiry Officer, who is conducting ex-parte inquiry can address the charged employee as “Accussed” while dealing in an official matter of misconduct. Can I take up this matter with police as it hurts my sentiment.


  • #3450

    Respected sir,
    I submitted a doubt for your kind clarification on 17th Nov, followed by same request on 19 Nov also. I just have a doubt whether the procedure adopted by me by posting further querries only through the initial querry is right or I have to post it as a fresh querry.

    It is my kind request for your clarification sir.
    Thanking you, Jaya sankar

  • #3451

    As per Cambridge dictionary, “accuse” means “to say that someone has done something morally wrong, illegal, or unkind”.

    This word may even be used in general discussions, such as, “Are you accusing me of lying?” or “The government stands accused of eroding freedom of speech”.

    It is true that generally, the word “accused” is used in criminal law for a person who is accused of committing an offence. But, it has other uses also, as mentioned above.

    Since it appears that you are working under the Central Government, let me point out that in the guidelines issued under the CCS (CCA) Rules, the officer against whom a departmental inquiry is pending, is generally referred to as “delinquent officer”. During such departmental inquiries, I have also seen the use of “charged officer” or “CO” expressions for such employee.

    If you are offended by the use of the words “accused employee”, you may request the authority concerned to use the appropriate words.

    But, I don’t think you can file a complaint with police for use of these words. This may be taking it too far. As far as I understand, at the most (if at all), it may be considered as defamation, but that is also a non-cognizable offence and the police has no power to register FIR in such matters, and you may have to file a private complaint in court. But, I think it would not be easy to prove the charge of defamation in such situation. Rest is up to you. If you have time and energy left after fighting your existing departmental inquiry, you can file this new case.     

    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

  • #3465

    Respected Sir,
    Thank you verymuch with all my heart sir for your valuable opinion.

  • #3719

    Respected Sir,
    Your valuable timely expertise opinion coupled with provisio of RTI was instrumental for my self confidence on my stand in the arbitrary disciplinary action for major punishment initiated by my employer. As suggested, I approached CAT, preferred for self pleading and the Hon’ble Court accepted my plea and granted interim relief.(verymuch pained by the acts of executive machinery of the state).

    Please accept my humble salute for your noble cause.

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