Delay in Departmental Proceedings and its Effects

Delay in Departmental Proceedings

Delay in Departmental Proceedings

After issuance of charge sheet the charge employee try to delay in departmental proceedings.

There are other reasons which cause delay in departmental proceedings. The inordinate delay may invite adverse effects.

Delay in issuance of Charge Sheet 

The inordinate delay in issue of charge sheet may invite Judicial Review by High Court and High Court can quash such proceedings.

In one matter, the Disciplinary Authority issued charge sheet after 12 years. The Hon'ble Supreme Court held that there is no satisfactory explanation for inordinate delay in issuing charge memo.

And we are also of the view that it will be unfair to permit the departmental enquiry to be proceeded with this stage.

The Disciplinary Authority pass suspension order but does not issue charge sheet even after three months.

In such cases, individual charged employee approach to High Court or Central Administrative Tribunal to challenge disciplinary proceedings.

Delay due to Judicial Stay on Departmental Proceedings

Any delay due to Judicial Stay Order on Departmental Proceedings is not the fault of departmental and it will not give adverse effect.

In the matter of Food Corporation of India vs. George Varghese, AIR 1991 SC 1115, the Supreme Court held that the delay in completion of proceedings was not due to inaction of the department authorities.

Therefore, the Supreme Court quashed and set aside the High Court Order and directed to complete the inquiry as far as possible within six months.

Timely Disposal of Departmental Appeal 

After passing penalty order by the Disciplinary Authority, the charged employee prefers departmental appeal.

However, the appellant authority does not dispose the departmental appeal ever after expiry of 8 months.

With reference to timely disposal departmental appeal against penalty order passed in disciplinary proceedings. The Supreme Court dealt with one matter in following manner :-

The redressal of grievances in the hands of the departmental authorities taken on unduly long time.

Ordinarily, the appellant authority should dispose the departmental appeal within three to six months.

That would discipline the system and keep the public servant away from a protracted period of litigation.

Effect of Delay in Inquiry Proceedings

The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Shri Anant R. Kulkarni vs. Y.P. Education Society & Ors held that inquiry proceedings can be quashed on the ground of delay.

Therefore, neither disciplinary authority nor inquiry officer should delay in completion of disciplinary proceedings otherwise may invite adverse effect.