Definition Clause of Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1973
Efficiency and Discipline Rules have been framed be the President of Pakistan in the exercise of powers conferred in him by Section 25 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973. The title of the rules is Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1973 and shortly called E & D Rules, 1973. These rules are applicable to every person who falls in the definition of Civil Servant as contained in section 2 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973.
Like every other enactment E & D Rules have a definition clause that defines or gives a specific meaning to certain terms used in the rules. In order to properly understand the E & D Rules, it is necessary to throw a glance on this definition clause.
Definitions____ Simply Explained
Rule 2 (1) says “accused” means a Government servant against whom action is taken under these rules. So it is clear to us that the definition of accused under the E & D Rules, 1973 is different from the “accused” under criminal law. A civil servant against whom an action is taken under E & D Rules is an accused even though no criminal trial is pending against him or even no criminal charge against him is framed or no FIR is lodged against him. Furthermore, a civil servant may be accused under criminal law if a criminal case is registered against him but not under E & D Rules if no action is taken against him under the rules.
Second definition in Rule 2 is that of “authority”. “Authority” means the appointing authority prescribed in rule 6 of the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 1973.
[Provided that in the case of disciplinary proceedings already initiated against a Government servant before 14th June 2000, the powers of “authority” shall be exercised by the officer designed as such before the aforesaid date:]
It should be kept in mind that “Authority” is not the same for all civil servants. Since civil servants are appointed by different offices/persons, therefore, ‘authority’ can be different for different civil servants. Under the E & D Rules it is “authority” which can initiate a proceeding against a civil servant; therefore, action against different civil servants can be taken by offices at different level. For example, according to Rule 6 of the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 1973 appointing authority for civil servant in BPS 20 or above is Prime Minister while the appointing authority for a civil servant in BPS 1 or 2 is Deputy Secretary or Head of the Department or Head of the subordinate Office or an officer notified by the Head of the Department. This classification has a practical convenience; who can take the action against civil servants depends on their scale. Civil servants of higher level can be initiated against by Prime Minister while action against civil servant in lower BPS be taken by ‘authority’ in lower level. In nutshells, the higher the scale of a civil servant the higher the authority that is required to take action against him under these rules.
For the details as to who is appointing authority for different civil servants according to their scale see Rule 6 of the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 1973 attached at the end of this document.
Sub-rule 3 of Rule 2 states that “authorised officer” means an officer authorised by the authority to perform functions of an authorised officer under these rules or, if no officer is so authorised, the authority.
‘Authority’ and ‘authorised officer’ should not be confused for or with each other; usually they are two different offices. However, if no officer is authorized to perform as authorised officer then ‘authority’ is authorised officer. But this is very seldom. When an officer is authorised to act as authoised officer then‘Authority’ and ‘authorised officer’ have different roles to play during an action taken against a civil servant. One cannot play the role of other. If one plays the role of other, action taken against civil servant is prone to be challenged.
Authority can be authorised officer but authorised officer cannot be authority, to put it simple.
Rule 2(4) defines” misconduct” to be a conduct:
- prejudicial to good order or service discipline, or
- contrary to Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964 or unbecoming of an officer and, a gentleman,
- and includes any act on the part of a Government servant to bring or attempt to bring political or other outside influence directly or indirectly to bear on the Government or any Government officer in respect of any matter relating to the:
- i. appointment,
- ii. promotion,
- iii. transfer,
- iv. punishment,
- v. retirement, or
- vi. other conditions of service of a Government servant
For example habitual absence from duty, non-observance of office timing or disobedience of official instructions from higher ups is a conduct that is prejudicial to the good order or service discipline. Obscene talk with a female in the office, for example, could be a conduct unbecoming of a gentleman. Similarly, Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964 has prohibited a number of activities for a government servant e.g. a government servant shall not take the gifts from any person. If the government servant takes the gift and does not follow the procedure in the rules, it can fall in the definition of misconduct. Similarly if a government servant, in violations of Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964 does not declare his property at the time of entering to civil service or gets involved in a private business can be initiated against on the ground of misconduct.
The last thing to be defined by Rule 2 of the E & D Rules, 1973 is penalty. “Penalty” means a penalty which may be imposed under these rules. So the penalty that could be imposed on a civil servant is only a penalty that is described in these rules. In other words, a penalty that is not described in these rules cannot be imposed on a civil servant. For example, can a civil servant be sent to jail, if he is habitually absenting from duties?
Rule 6 of the of the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and Transfer) Rules, 1973 has described authorities competent to make appointments to various posts as follows:
|S. No||Posts||Appointing Authority|
|1||Posts in BPS 20 and above or equivalent||Prime Minister|
|2||Posts in BPS 17 or 19 or equivalent||Establishment Secretary|
|3||Posts in BPS 3 to 16 or equivalent||Secretary of the ministry or division concerned or head of the department or an officer by HoD or head of subordinate office|
|4||Posts in BPS 1 to 2 or equivalent||Deputy Secretary of the ministry or division concerned or head of the department or an officer by HoD or head of subordinate office|
|5||Posts in BPS 17 and 18 and equivalent in pakistan ordinance factory||Chairman pakistan ordinance factory board|
Provided that the President may designate an officer holding a post in basic pay scale 18 or 19 and equivalent in a Ministry, Division, Department or Office to be the appointing authority for posts in basic pay scales 1 to 16 and equivalent in the Ministry, Division, Department or Office; and] Provided further that the President may designate an officer of the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy or Pakistan Air Force, not below the rank of Major or equivalent, to be the appointing authority for civil posts in basic pay scales 1 to 16 and equivalent in the General Headquarters, the Naval Headquarters or the Air Headquarters.
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