Rule 5 of Railway Servants (Discipline and appeal) Rules, 1968 – Instructions regarding timely review of suspension
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
No. E(D&A) 2014 RG6-35
New Delhi, 18.02.2015
The General Manager(P)
All Indian Railways and
Production Units etc.
(As per standard list).
Sub: Rule 5 of Railway Servants (Discipline and appeal) Rules, 1968 – Instructions regarding timely review of suspension
Rule 5 of the Railway Servants (Discipline and appeal) Rules, 1968 deals with the provisions of suspension. As per the rule, a Railway servant may be placed under suspension in the following circumstances:
- where a disciplinary proceeding against him is contemplated or is pending; or
- where, in the opinion of the authority competent to place a Railway servant under suspension, he has engaged himself in activities prejudicial to the interest of the security of the state; or
- where a case against him in respect of any criminal offence, is under investigation, inquiry or trial.
2. A Disciplinary Authority may also consider it appropriate to place a Railway servant under suspension in the following circumstances. These are only intended for guidance and should not be taken as mandatory:-
- Cases where continuance in office of the Railway servant will prejudice the investigation, trial or any inquiry (e.g. apprehended tampering with witnesses or documents);
- where the continuance in office of the Railway servant is likely to seriously subvert discipline in the office in which the Railway servant is working;
- where the continuance in office of the Railway servant will be against the wider public interest [other than those covered by (i) and (ii)] such as there is public scandal and it is necessary to place the Railway servant under suspension to demonstrate the policy of the Government to deal strictly with officers involved in such scandals, particularly corruption;
- where allegations have been made against the Railway servant and preliminary inquiry has revealed that a prima facie case is made out which would justify his prosecution or his being proceeded against in departmental proceedings, and where the proceedings are likely to end in his conviction and/or dismissal, removal or compulsory retirement from service.
- In the first three circumstances the Disciplinary Authority may exercise his discretion to place a Railway servant under suspension even when the case is under investigation and before a prima facie case has been established. Suspension may be desirable in the circumstances indicated below:-
- any offence or conduct involving moral turpitude;
- corruption, embezzlement or misappropriation of Government money, possession of disproportionate assets, misuse of official powers for personal gain;
- serious negligence and dereliction of duty resulting in considerable loss to Railways;
- desertion of duty;
- Refusal or deliberate failure to carry out written orders of superior officers. In respect of the types of misdemeanor specified in sub-clauses (iii) to (v) herein above, discretion has to be exercised with care.
- Rules 5(6) and 5(7) of RS(D&A) Rules, 1968, deal with the review of suspension cases. The provision of review within ninety days is applicable to all types of suspensions. However, in cases of continued detention, the review becomes a mere formality with no consequences as a Railway servant in such a situation has to be continued to be kept under deemed suspension. A review of suspension is not necessary in such cases during this period. Therefore, in all such cases the first review of suspension becomes due on completion of ninety days counting from the date, the Railway servant was released from detention, unless suspension has already been revoked. Subsequent reviews shall become due before completion of currently continuing period of suspension. During each such review, suspension can be extended for a period not exceeding 180 days at a time.
- It has come to notice that in cases of prolonged suspension period, the courts have pointed out that the suspension cannot be continued for long and that inspite of Railway Board’s instructions, the Disciplinary Authorities are not finalizing the disciplinary proceedings within stipulated time. Also, in such cases the Railway is unnecessarily paying subsistence allowance without extracting any work and if, on the culmination of the disciplinary proceedings, the charged officer is exonerated from the charges, the Railway has to unnecessarily pay the full salary and treat the period of suspension as on duty etc. It is therefore, desirable that timely review of suspension is conducted in a just and proper manner and that the disciplinary proceedings are finalized expeditiously.
- The zonal Railways etc. may bring the existing instructions on timely review of suspension and expeditious completion of disciplinary proceedings to the notice of all concerned.
- Please acknowledge receipt.