Sweta Raj
Asked September 21, 2016

Legal remedy for Delayed proceedings

  • 1 Answer

Being a confirmed employee after successful completion of probation in a Central PSU, the authorities have Suspended me on the pretext of Contemplated Disciplinary Proceedings. After 50 days from the date of suspension, they handed over a Charge Sheet to me for initiation of major disciplinary proceedings by misinterpreting the eligibility requirements and alleging thereof that, I was ineligible at the time of initial recruitment itself and hence a departmental enquiry is getting initiated in this case. Subsequent to issuance of charge sheet I have made 04 appeals to revoke the ongoing suspension within the period of 45 days from the date of handing over the charge sheet. Parallely, I have also denied the charges and submitted a detailed reply stating the logical conclusions behind the denials. However, the enquiry proceedings although initiated but not concluded till today. A total of 09 months has already passed from the date of Issuance of Charge sheet and they are continuously extending the suspension period prior to the same getting lapsed. Under the circumstances, please guide: 1. Whether there is any maximum duration for which suspension can continue to be enforced. 2. Any remedy available, because I have already appealed against the Suspension, however no decision of the outcome of any of the appeals has been made to me. 3. In the charge sheet the authorities have mentioned a name of the witness. However, subsequent to making the demand of witness statement, the authorities have now informed after passing on of 05 months from the date of this request that, no witness statement has got recorded. 4. No specific or particular reason is being stated in the suspension extension orders. Only reference to applicable rules are getting specified (i.e. Under the rule XXXX the competent authority has reviewed your suspension and has decided to extend the same further for a period of xx months. Subsequent review will be made accordingly) Of course the intent is mala fide on the part of authorities, since they have recently recruited 1 extra candidate at the same post against the actual sanctioned strength and are willing to absorb him by ousting me. Awaiting for kind feedback to end the Suspension immediately. Regards

Answer 1

A Suspension Order should not extend beyond three months if within this period the chargesheet is not served on the employee; if the chargesheet is served a reasoned order must be passed for the extension of the suspension. This implies that there does not exist any definite maximum duration for which suspension can be enforced in this case, as long as such suspension order is reasonable and fair

In a similar case of Ajay Kumar Choudhary v.Union of India (UOI) and Ors.[1], the SC has held that:

  •  Fair, just and reasonable procedure implicit in Article 21 of the Constitution creates a right in the accused to be tried speedily. Right to speedy trial is the right of the accused. Right to speedy trial flowing from Article 21 encompasses all the stages, namely the stage of investigation, inquiry, trial, appeal, revision and re-trial.
  • The concerns underlying the right to speedy trial from the point of view of the accused are:
  • the period of remand and pre-conviction detention should be as short as possible. In other words, the accused should not be subjected to unnecessary or unduly long incarceration prior to his conviction;
  • the worry, anxiety, expense and disturbance to his vocation and peace, resulting from an unduly prolonged investigation, inquiry or trial should be minimal; and
  • undue delay may well result in impairment of the ability of the accused to defend himself, whether on account of death, disappearance or non-availability of witnesses or otherwise.
  • Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1949[2], provides rights for the protection of personal liberty. The SC has held that speedy trial, coupled with fair, just and reasonable procedure, falls within the ambit of fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Keeping this SC judgment of the SC in mind, either you may directly approach the Supreme Court against your wrongful suspension, or if you have already appealed before the court, you may urge for a speedy trial under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution; as observation (2) clearly states that right to speedy trial exists even at the stage of an appeal. As stated by you, since no specific reason has been mentioned in the suspension extension order, it goes against the requirement of a reasonable order; hence you would probably be provided remedy by the SC.


    [1] Civil Appeal No. 1912 of 2015 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 31761 of 2013)

    [2] Available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1199182/

    Agree Comment 0 Agrees about 5 years ago
    • Default avatar
      I fully agree with Apoorwa Iyer
      Agree 0 Agrees about 5 years ago

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