5 Most Important Procedures of Disciplinary Proceedings Against an Employee Must be Followed by Every Employer to Avoid the Illegal Termination Charges

Legal Procedures
Notice of Employee Termination

Indian Laws about termination of an employee

Indian employment law regulates the contractual rights and duties between employers and employees. As per the Indian Constitution, all citizens of India have a right to equality in employment opportunities. The Constitution also prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. In addition, the Constitution provides for special measures to improve the economic conditions of weaker sections of society, including scheduled castes and tribes. The Supreme Court of India has held that an employer is entitled to terminate an employee’s contract of employment if there is just cause for doing so.

However, the court has also held that an employer must provide reasonable notice to an employee before terminating his or her contract. There are several labour laws in India that protect the rights of employees and set out rules for termination of contracts by employers. These laws include the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 (IDA), the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 (CLRA), and the Employees’ State Insurance Act 1948 (ESI).

Under these laws, an employer cannot terminate an employee’s contract without just cause or without giving reasonable notice. The IDA requires employers to give workers at least one month’s notice before terminating their contracts. The CLRA requires employers to give contract workers at least two weeks’ notice before terminating their contracts. The ESI requires employers to give insured workers at least four weeks’ notice before terminating their contracts. Thus, it is advisable to consult experts, lawyers, or law firms shaving experience in handling employment laws before proceeding to take legal actions against an employee.

Disciplinary Proceedings for Suspension or Expulsion of Employees

A Disciplinary Proceeding is an Administrative Procedure To Decide Whether The Suspension Or Expulsion From A Job Or Profession Of A Licensed Individual Is Required Due To A Crime For Which He Or She Has Or Had Been Convicted, Or For A Disciplinary Misconduct Such As The Breach Of A Code Of Ethics He Or She Has Taken Up.

Under The Constitution Of India, Article 311

(1), No Dismissal Or Removal By An Authority Subordinate To That By Which He/She Was Appointed. In Article 311

(2), No Dismissal Or Reduction In Rank Must Happen Only After An Inquiry, The Inquiry Is Mandatory.

He/She Should Be Informed Of The Charges Against. The Accused Must Be Given A Reasonable Opportunity Of Being Heard In Respect Of Those Charges:  – To Peruse Records And Offer An Explanation  – To Cross-Examine Witnesses Produced  – To Produce Records On His/Her Behalf

Reasonable Opportunity Must Be Given To The Accused 

The Disciplinary Proceedings Against The Delinquent Must Be In Conformity With The Principles Of Natural Justice, The Opportunity Must Be Given To Deny The Charges By The Accused And Cross-Examine The Witnesses. The Charges Must Be Specific, It Must Be Intimated Within A Reasonable Time by the Enquiry Officer.

There Are Various Principle Guidelines That An Inquiry Officer Must Follow:

  • Record The Evidence
  • Analyze The Evidence
  • Record The Findings
  • Submit The Report To The Disciplinary Authority

Various Stages Of A Disciplinary Proceedings 

Stage-1: Pre-Hearing Stage  

  1. Annexures Must Be Attached To The Charge Sheet. The Evidence That The Charge Sheet Has Been Served On The Delinquent Must Be Provided. A Reply Must Be Filed, If Any, Of The Delinquent With The Appointment Order Of Accused Or Presenting Officer.
  2. The Nature Of The Charges Must Be Studied And Explained In Detail To Both Parties.
  3. The Acknowledgment Of The Appointment Order Is Very Important.
  4. Open A Daily Order Sheet And Record The Receipts Of The Appointment Order.
  5. A Date For Holding Preliminary Enquiry Will Be Fixed Within The Next 10 Days.
  6.  Issue The Notice For The Delinquent.

Stage-2: Preliminary Hearing Stage  

  1. Question The Accused Whether He/She Has Faith In You Being The Inquiring Officer And Clear The Question Of Bias.
  2. Stay The Inquiry When an Application Is Made Raising Issues Of Bias.
  3. Forward The Application To The Appointing Authority For Consideration.
  4. We Await The Orders Of The Appointing Authority On The Application.
  5. Stay The Inquiry Until Orders Are Received.
  6. Once The Delinquent Expresses Confidence In The Inquiry Officer, Proceed To Satisfy Whether He/She Has Received The Charge Sheet. He / She Must Understand The Charges And The Question Must Be Raised To The Accused Whether He/She Admits The Charges To Which He Or She Has Been Accused Of. If The Accused Admits To The Charges, Then The Admission Should Be Unconditional. It Should Be Total Acceptance Of The Guilt Of The Charges, Otherwise, It Must Be Treated As A Denial.
  7. If A Part Of The Charges Has Been Admitted By The Accused, Then They Are Deemed To Have Been Proved, No Further Enquiry To Be Conducted In Respect Of Those Charges. The Charges Admitted Should Be Recorded By The Inquiry Officer And Signed By The Delinquent.

Stage-3: Regular Hearing  

  1. Cross-Examination By The Delinquent Or His/Her Representative, If There Is No Cross-Examination, It Should Be Mentioned In The Daily Order Sheet That the Opportunity Was Granted But Not Availed.
  2. On The Closure Of Evidence By The Presenting Officer, Enquire About Defense Witnesses And Issue Summons To Them, Defence Witnesses To Be Examined In Chief And Cross-Examined.
  3. Documents To Be Marked In Seriatim Mentioning Whether They Have Been Marked On The Side Of The Department Or On The Side Of The Delinquent And The Seriatim Of The Witness Through Whom They Have Been Marked
  4.  Make Daily Order Sheet For Each Hearing Date And Obtain a Signature From The Presenting Officer And From The Delinquent And His/Her Representative With the Date, Furnish a Copy Of The Daily Order Sheet On The Same Day.
  5. Inform The Next Hearing Date And Obtain Acknowledgment For The Same.

Stage-4 Enquiry Report  

  1.  Facts Of Disciplinary Proceedings
  2. Assistance Provided By The Delinquent
  3. Charges And Substance Of Accusation Of Misconduct
  4. Case Of The Department
  5. Case Of The DelinquentAnalyzing And Assessment Of Evidence
  6. Findings Against Each Charge
  7. List Of Documents/Witnesses Produced By Both Sides

Stage-5 Submission Of Report  

The Presenting Officer Shall Ensure The Following Details Be Included In The Inquiry Report In Support Of The Charges.

The Content Of The Inquiry Report      

  • Introduction
  • Assistance Provided To The Delinquent      
  • Charges And Substance Of Imputation Of Misconduct
  • Case Of The Department
  • Case Of The Delinquent
  • Analysis And Assessment Of The Evidence
  • Findings Against Each Charge
  • List Of Documents/Witnesses Produced By Both Sides Precautions Must Be Taken To The Initial Stage Of Any Disciplinary Proceedings. A Charge May Be Framed Only When There Is Some Act In Violation Of Rules Or When There Is Misconduct Necessitating Imposing Major Penalty. There Should Be Incontrovertible Evidence That Misconduct Has Been Committed.

Role Of Presenting Officer 

Presenting Officer Shall Ensure The Following While Conducting The Enquiry

  1. Departmental Proceedings Cannot Be Equated With Proceedings Before The Courts Of Law
  2. The Inquiry Officer Is Not A Judge And The Presenting Officer Is Not A Public Prosecutor
  3. The Proceedings Are Basically Fact-Finding Exercises
  4. The Presenting Officer Must Logically And Chronologically Present The Evidence On Record And Examine And Cross-Examine Witnesses On The Facts
  5. The Presenting Officer Should Not Do Anything To Vitiate The Primary Obligation To Hold A Fair Enquiry
  6. Cross-Examination Should Be On Facts Alone
  7. On Conclusion Of Oral Evidence, The Presenting Officer Should Present Oral Arguments
  8. Written Submission Should Also Be Submitted

Presenting Officer Should Conduct Himself With Fairness Keeping In Mind The Principles And Scope Of The Departmental Proceedings.

Legal Advice from Employment Lawyers

There are a few reasons why you may want to consult with an employment lawyer near your jurisdiction If you feel like you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job, or if you are experiencing some form of workplace discrimination, an employment lawyer can help. They will be able to assess your situation and advise you on what steps to take next. Additionally, if you are thinking about starting your own business, an employment lawyer can provide valuable insight and advice on the best way to set up your company. If you have been dismissed from your job, the first thing you should do is contact an employment lawyer. They will be able to assess the circumstances surrounding your dismissal and advise you on whether or not you have a case against your former employer.

If it is determined that you were wrongfully dismissed, they will work with you to file a claim and get the compensation that you deserve. If you believe that you are facing discrimination at work, again, the best course of action is to contact an employment lawyer. They will be able to listen to your story and determine whether or not there is enough evidence to support a claim of discrimination.

If they believe that there is a case, they will work with you to build a strong case and get the compensation that you deserve. There are many different types of businesses out there, so if you’re thinking about starting your own, it’s important to seek out legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer beforehand. They can provide guidance on setting up your business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, they can offer advice on how best to structure your business in order t protect yourself from liability down the road.

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog post is for general information and educational purposes only. Nothing contained in this blog post should be construed as legal advice from The Aran Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

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