When a government servant is proceeded against under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules, 1973 then procedure laid down in rule 5 shall be observed as follows:
Suspension or leave
In case where a Government servant is accused of (i) subversion, (ii) corruption or (iii) misconduct, the authorised officer may require him to proceed on leave or, with the approval of the authority suspend him, provided that any continuation of such leave or suspension shall require approval of the authority after every three months.
Provided further that where the authority is President or Prime Minister, the powers of the authority under this clause shall be exercised by the Secretary, Establishment Division.
If an Inquiry is necessary?
The authorised officer shall decide whether in the light of facts of the case or the interests of justice an inquiry should be conducted through an Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee. If he so decides, the procedure indicated in rule 6 shall apply.
If the authorised officer decides that it is not necessary to have an inquiry conducted through an Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee, he shall–
(a) by order in writing, inform the accused of the action proposed to be taken in regard to him and the grounds of the action; and
(b) give him a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against that action:
Provided that no such opportunity shall be given where the authority is satisfied that in the interest of the security of Pakistan or any part thereof it is not expedient to give such opportunity.
Imposition of penalty through order
On receipt of the report of the Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee or, where no such Officer or Committee is appointed, on receipt of the explanation of the accused, if any, the authorised officer shall determine whether the charge has been proved. If it is proposed to impose a minor penalty he shall pass orders accordingly. If it is proposed to impose a major penalty, he shall forward the case to the authority along with the charge and statement of allegations served on the accused, the explanation of the accused, the findings of the Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee, if appointed, and his own recommendations regarding the penalty to be imposed. The authority shall pass such orders as it may deem proper.
The exercise of powers under clauses (i) and (iv) of rule 5 by the authorised officers in the Pakistan Missions abroad shall, unless already so provided, always be subject to the approval of the authority.
The procedure to be observed by the Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee:
If an Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee is appointed as discussed above, it shall observe the procedure laid down in rule 6 as follows:
Where an Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee is appointed, the authorised officer shall–Frame a charge and communicate it to the accused together with statement of the allegations explaining the charge and of any other relevant circumstances which are proposed to be taken into consideration.
Require the accused within a reasonable time, which shall not be less than seven days or more than fourteen days from the day the charge has been communicated to him, to put in a written defence and to state at the same time whether he desires to be heard in person.
The Inquiry Officer or the Committee, as the case may be, shall enquire into the charge and may examine such oral or documentary evidence in support of the charge or in defence of the accused as may be considered necessary and the accused shall be entitled to cross-examine the witnesses against him.
The Inquiry Officer or the Committee, as the case may be, shall hear the case from day to day and no adjournment shall be given except for reasons to be recorded in writing. However, every adjournment, with reasons therefor shall be reported forthwith to the authorized officer. Normally no adjournment shall be for more than a week.
Where the Inquiry Officer or the Committee, as the case may be, is satisfied that the accused is hampering, or attempting to hamper, the progress of the enquiry he or it shall administer a warning, and if thereafter he or it is satisfied that the accused is acting in disregard of the warning, he or it shall record a finding to that effect and proceed to complete the enquiry in such manner as he or it thinks, best suited to do substantial justice.
The Inquiry Officer or the Committee, as the case may be, shall within ten days of the conclusion of the proceedings or such longer period as may be allowed by the authorized officer, submit his or its findings and the ground thereof to the authorized officer.
Powers of Inquiry Officer and Inquiry Committee
As per rule 7, the Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee, for the purpose of an inquiry under these rules, shall have the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:–
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents.
Furthermore, clause 2 of Rule 7 states that the proceedings under these rules shall be deemed to be judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).
Rule 8 provides that Nothing in rule 5 shall apply to a case-
(a) where the accused is dismissed or removed from service or reduced in rank, on the ground of conduct which has led to a sentence of fine or of imprisonment; or
(b) Where the authority competent to dismiss or remove a person from service, or to reduce a person in rank, is satisfied that, for reasons to be recorded in writing by that authority, it is not reasonably practicable to give the accused an opportunity of showing cause.
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