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Haryana issues guidelines to prevent dismissal of employees without inquiry

Haryana Government issues orders which prohibits dismissing an employee without a proper enquiry, Hindustan Times reported. The move comes following a recommendation of the Punjab and Haryana high court which states that authorities have been ignoring the law regarding dismissal of an employee under Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution. 

What is Article 311 (2) (b)

Article 311 empowers the competent authority to dismiss, remove or reduce in rank a government employee subject to various riders.

The case

The HT report said that a Punjab Police Constable has been dismissed from service on December 2021 by invoking Article 311 (2) (b). The constable filed a writ petition, following which the High Court has noted that ‘a large number’ of petitions have been filed and expressed concern on the possible ‘misuse’ of  Article 311 (2) (b). 

“The competent authorities are ignoring the law as settled by the Supreme Court regarding dismissal of an employee under Article 311(2)(b) of the Constitution of India, which leads to the impugned orders being set aside,” the court had stated.

Five months after getting notified by the Court, the Haryana Government issued a letter to the administrative secretaries, heads of the departments stating that cases involving dismissal of a government employee without an inquiry “should invariably” be sent to the competent punishing authority for necessary orders.

Guidelines from Haryana Government

The Haryana Government has stated that subjective satisfaction of the competent authority for dispensing with regular departmental inquiry must be based on “cogent material and regular inquiry cannot be dispensed with solely on the ‘ipse dixit’ of the concerned competent punishing authority.”, according to the report by Hindustan Times

Exception of case: Examples cited by Haryana Govt

As reported by Hindustan Times, following are the case study cited by the Haryana Government where action under Article 311(2) (b) can be taken against a government servant

The state government has said that illustrative case for summary dismissal without inquiry could be where a civil servant (through or together with his associates) terrorizes, threatens or intimidates witnesses who are likely to give evidence against him with fear of reprisal in order to prevent them from doing so.

Another example the government has cited to do away with inquiry is where the civil servant himself or through others threatens, intimidates and terrorises the officer who is the disciplinary authority or members of his family so that the officer is afraid to hold the inquiry or direct it to be held. 

The dismissal without inquiry can be recommended where an atmosphere of violence or of general indiscipline and insubordination prevails at the time of attempt to hold the inquiry.

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