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Disciplinary/Appellate/Revisionary Cases for the Officers/Staff – Railway Board

Important points to be kept in view by the Disciplinary/ Appellate/Revisionary/Reviewing Authorities and Inquiry Officers while handling disciplinary cases – Master Circular

Government of India (भारत सरकार )
Ministry of Railways (रेल मंत्रालय )
Railway Board (रेलवे बोर्ड)

No, E(D&A) 2019 RG6-12

Master Circular No. 67
New Delhi Dated: 23.12.2019

The General Managers,
Railways and Production Units.

Sub: Important points to be kept in view by the Disciplinary/Appellate/ Revisionary/ Reviewing Authorities and Inquiry Officers while handling disciplinary cases- Master Circular.

The 2019 version of the Master Circular on important points to be kept in view by the Disciplinary/Appellate/Revisionary/Reviewing Authorities and Inquiry Officers while handling disciplinary cases is in your hands. You are aware that the disciplinary proceeding, being quasi judicial in nature, occupy a place different· from the normal administrative processes. For the same reason, they also have to their credit the largest portion of the service law jurisprudence evolved through judicial pronouncements. With Article 311 of the Constitution of India laying down the philosophical contours of the disciplinary proceedings, the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968 have been framed by the President under the mandate of Article 309 of the Constitution for regulating the matters of disciplinary proceedings in the case of the Railway Servants. Owing to the complex nature of these proceedings and application of the Rules in the individual cases on their given factual matrices springing up questions; circulars have been issued from time to time in order to provide clarifications. Some circulars issued in the past have become redundant owing to amendments carried out in the Rules and also in the light of ever evolving case law.

While a huge number of circulars has been issued by the Ministry in the past, an attempt has been made to present a selective handy compilation of the circulars which deal with frequently asked questions with the hope that it will provide useful guidance in conducting the disciplinary proceedings in a legally sustainable manner.

(Renuka Nair)
Dy. Director, Estt.(Discipline & Appeal)
Railway Board.

Important points to be kept in view by the Disciplinary/Appellate/ Revisionary/Reviewing authorities and Inquiry Officers while handling disciplinary cases

It is noticed that in many cases, the disciplinary proceedings get vitiated on account of failure to follow the prescribed procedures. Some of the common mistakes which are committed by the Disciplinary/Appellate/Revisionary/Reviewing Authorities and inquiry Officers have been brought out in this brochure for guidance/information of all concerned.

2. Disciplinary Authority:

a) The chargesheet should be issued by the appropriate ·Disciplinary Authority prescribed in the schedules. It is also essential that the chargesheet is signed by the Disciplinary Authority himself and not by any lower authority on his behalf.

b) The provisions in Rule 8 have to be kept in view while ascertaining whether the chargesheet has been issued by the correct authority. In respect of non-gazetted delinquent staff, a major penalty chargesheet can be issued only by an authority who is competent as per the schedules, to impose on that Railway servant at least one of the major penalties. However, in respect of delinquent employee of gazetted rank, a major penalty chargesheet can also be issued by an authority who is competent to impose on that delinquent employee at least one of the minor penalties.

c) Disciplinary Authority would be with reference to the post held by the charged official at the time of initiation of disciplinary action and not with reference to the post held by him at the time the alleged misconduct occurred.

(Board’s letter No. E(D&A)84/RG6-42 dated 08.08.84)

d) Disciplinary Authority in the case of Railway Servant officiating in higher post shall be determined with reference to the officiating post held by him at the time of taking action {Rule-7(3) of RS (D&A) Rules, 1968}. The delegation of powers under schedule-Ill has to be read with the provisions in the main rules as brought above, and not in isolation.

(Board’s letter No. E(D&A) 2005 RG6-19 dated 24.06.2005)

e) While (a), (b),{c) and {d) above refer to the level of the Disciplinary Authority, the Authority who actually functions as Disciplinary Authority can be none other than the one under whose administrative control the delinquent employee works. Also there can be only one Disciplinary Authority for an employee, e.g. for an operating staff, who is under the administrative control of Divisional Operating Manager ( DOM), only the DOM can act as Disciplinary Authority, even if the misconduct pertains to violation of commercial rules or safety rules and not Divisional Commercial Manager or Divisional Safety Officer.

(Board’s letters Nos. E(D&A)72 RG6-13 dated 16.10.73 E(D&A)94 RG6-69 dated 4.8.97) 

f) If the Disciplinary Authority of a charged official is also involved in the same case then he should not act as the Disciplinary Authority in the said case. The authority who is next higher in the hierarchy should act as the Disciplinary Authority.

(Board’s letter No. E(D&A)90 RG6- 123 dated 09.11.90)

g) The authority looking after the current duties of a post cannot exercise the disciplinary functions assigned to the said post.

(Board’s letter No. F(E) 60 SAi/i dt.4.3.63)

h) Authority who has acted as a member or Chairman of a Fact Finding Inquiry or Accident Inquiry should not act as Disciplinary Authority because the Charged employee would apprehend that the officer having expressed earlier an opinion would not, as a Disciplinary Authority. depart from his own earlier finding. He may not thus get justice. However, if the report does not indicate a final opinion but only a view, prima facie, he can act as a Disciplinary Authority. A member or chairman of the Fact Finding Inquiry or Accident Inquiry cannot, however act as an Inquiry Officer in that case since the Inquiry Officer should be an authority who should not have prejudged the guilt, even provisionally at an early stage.

(Board’s letter Nos.E(D&A)63. RGS-16 dt. 23.12.68 read with letter dt. 23.5.69)

Click here to read more/download the Master Circular with Instructions

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