- To keep employee away from a position where
- He can interfere with the conduct of enquiry, or
- may tamper with documentary or oral evidence in any manner, and
- to ensure smooth disposal of the proceedings initiated against him
- It is unsafe to continue to vest in him powers of his post.
- To safeguard against the government servant interfering with and hampering the investigation and tampering with material evidence.
- Ordered as deterrent to exhibit firm determination of the Government to root out corruption or other grave misconduct.
- It is administrative and not a quasi judicial action.
- Principle of natural justice not applicable.
It is important that before passing suspension order, the authority passing order should satisfy himself that he is competent to pass the order of suspension.
An order made without jurisdiction is void ab initio and illegal.
Power to suspend is quasi judicial power and cannot be delegated.
Power to appoint includes power to suspend.
In case employee is on deputation, he can be suspended by that department.
Rule 10(1) of the CCA(CCS) Rules 1965, provides that following authorities competent to place a government servant under suspension: –
Any Authority to which the Appointing Authority is subordinate;
-The Disciplinary Authority;
-Any other Authority, empowered in that behalf, by the President of India, by general or special order;
WHEN SUSPENSION IS RESORTED TO
Every employer has inherent right to suspend his employees
Power to suspend is a discretionary power and should be exercised after due application of mind.
There should be sufficient material to justify suspension.
A government servant can be placed under suspension only by a specific order made in writing by competent authority. It should not be oral order.
It is not necessary to initiate preliminary enquiry before passing suspension order nor any notice of opportunity need be afforded to him to explain circumstances on the basis of which he is sought to be suspended.
A government servant may be placed under suspension in following circumstances: –
When disciplinary proceedings against him is contemplated or is pending;
When case against him in respect of criminal offence is under investigation, inquiry or trial, or when criminal prosecution is pending against him.
When he is under detention
When he is engaged in any activity prejudicial to the security of State
After preliminary enquiry, the competent authority is satisfied that a prima facie case has been made out for departmental proceedings. However, framing of definite charges or communication thereof to the concerned employee or issue charge-sheet is not a condition precedent
No suspension order be passed until and unless departmental proceedings are actually commenced.
Expression “pending such inquiry” means “where the disciplinary action is proposed or contemplated”. Meaning thereby that an employee can be suspended and there is no need for issue of any charge-sheet.
Suspension order can be passed on registration of criminal case with the lodging of FIR.
WHEN SUSPENSION SHOULD NOT BE RESORTED TO
While public interest is guiding principle in deciding to place government servant under suspension, the competent authority must take into consideration all facts and circumstances.
Power to suspend must be used sparingly with due care when it is absolutely essential.
Must not be made in petty offences.
Following circumstance may be taken into consideration by competent authority: –
Whether continuance is likely to prejudice the investigation, trial or inquiry.
Whether his continuance is likely to seriously disturb discipline in office.
To demonstrate policy of Government to deal with officers involved in public scandals, particularly corruption;
- Where preliminary enquiry warrants the institution of criminal or departmental proceeding against him.
KINDS OF SUSPENSION
- Suspension as a mode of punishment
- Suspension during pendency of an inquiry
- Mere forbidding the employee from discharging his duties during the pendency of inquiry against him.
It is right of master to forbid his servant from doing work, at same time keeping in force his own obligation under contract, known as Service Subsists.
Right to suspend is regulated by contract of employment.
Suspension as mode of punishment cannot be ordered unless authorized by relevant rules.
EFFECTS OF SUSPENSION:
Master servant subsist during suspension
He continues to be subject of same discipline and penalties and the Conduct Rules continue to apply to him. Therefore, he cannot seek employment elsewhere though he does not perform his normal duties.
Suspension constitutes a great hardship for the affected servant. Apart from not being allowed to perform his duties and earn his salary, he is paid at reduced rates.
Cause a lasting damage to reputation of GS and its stigma is not easily washed away even though he is ultimately exornerated.
Mere suspension doesn’t mean reduction in rank.
Time passed by GS under suspension, pending inquiry, will count as qualifying service where-
On the conclusion of such inquiry, he has been fully exonerated; or
The suspension is held to be wholly unjustified; or
- Where the order of suspension is withdrawn.
- Where employee acquitted in criminal case by court and department has not initiated any departmental enquiry against him, he would be entitled to full pay during the period of suspension.
Employee cannot be denied his pay and allowance on ground that acquittal was not honourable acquittal.
On being reinstated, he will be entitled to all consequential benefits, such as arrears of salary during suspension period, etc.
Principle of “No Work No Pay” will not be applicable.