Officers facing inquiry can now access UPSC advice

A government servant facing an inquiry can now access the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) advice tendered to the disciplinary authority and will be given a second opportunity to defend themselves before the final action is taken.

Earlier, the officer who was charged could not see the UPSC’s advice on the matter and had only one chance to defend themselves.

According to the new rules set by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the disciplinary authority will examine the inquiry report it received from the investigator and forward it to the UPSC with its observations.

After the UPSC revert, the disciplinary authority will examine the advice rendered and forward it to the charged officer along with the inquiry report and the tentative reasons for disagreement with the inquiry report and the advice of the UPSC.

The officer can offer the written submission to the authority within 15 days, irrespective of whether the inquiry report or advice of UPSC is in the officer’s favour or not, the new rules has said.

This provision is a new addition as earlier the officer could write such a submission before the file is moved to the UPSC.

The disciplinary authority would consider the representation of the charged officer and take further action, they said.

All cases, where final orders have not been issued, will be processed as per the new guidelines, it said.

Formation

The new rules were formed after the Centre found that the manner of communication of the advice of the UPSC to the delinquent government servant had been subject matter of litigation in some cases in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and High Courts. 

Earlier in 2007, the Supreme Court had held that the disciplinary authority is not required to furnish a copy of the advice tendered by the UPSC to the charged officer before the final order of penalty is passed.

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