Tuesday 12 November 2019

What are duties of enquiry officer while conducting departmental enquiry?

The question relating to jurisdiction of the Court in judicial review in a Departmental proceeding fell for consideration before this Court in M.B. Bijlani v. Union of India and Ors. reported in MANU/SC/1857/2006 : (2006) 5 SCC 88 wherein this Court held:

It is true that the jurisdiction of the court in judicial review is limited. Disciplinary proceedings, however, being quasi- criminal in nature, there should be some evidence to prove the charge. Although the charges in a departmental proceeding are not required to be proved like a criminal trial i.e. beyond all reasonable doubt, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the enquiry officer performs a quasi-judicial function, who upon analyzing the documents must arrive at a conclusion that there had been a preponderance of probability to prove the charges on the basis of materials on record. While doing so, he cannot take into consideration any irrelevant fact. He cannot refuse to consider the relevant facts. He cannot shift the burden of proof. He cannot reject the relevant testimony of the witnesses only on the basis of surmises and conjectures. He cannot enquire into the allegations with which the delinquent officer had not been charged with.

Civil Appeal No. 2106 of 2012 
Decided On: 15.02.2012

Krushnakant B. Parmar  Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadhaya, JJ.

Citation: (2012) 3 SCC 178.

Read full judgment here:Click here

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