Disciplinary/Appellate/ Revisionary Cases for the Officers/Staff – Railway Master Circular


Disciplinary/Appellate/ Revisionary Cases for the Officers/Staff – Railway Master Circular

Disciplinary/Appellate/ Revisionary Cases for the Officers/Staff – Railway Master Circular


Government of India (भारत सरकार )
Ministry of Railways (रेल मंत्रालय )
Railway Board (रेलवे बोर्ड)

No, E(D&A) 2019 RG6-12

Master Circular No. 67
New Delhi Dated: 23.12.2019

The General Managers,
Railways and Production Units.

Sub: Important points to be kept in view by the Disciplinary/Appellate/ Revisionary/Reviewing Authorities and Inquiry Officers while handling disciplinary cases- Master Circular.

The 2019 version of the Master Circular on important points to be kept in view by the Disciplinary/Appellate/Revisionary/Reviewing Authorities and Inquiry Officers while handling disciplinary cases is in your hands. You are aware that the disciplinary proceeding, being quasi judicial in nature, occupy a place different· from the normal administrative processes. For the same reason, they also have to their credit the largest portion of the service law jurisprudence evolved through judicial pronouncements. With Article 311 of the Constitution of India laying down the philosophical contours of the disciplinary proceedings, the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968 have been framed by the President under the mandate of Article 309 of the Constitution for regulating the matters of disciplinary proceedings in the case of the Railway Servants. Owing to the complex nature of these proceedings and application of the Rules in the individual cases on their given factual matrices springing up questions; circulars have been issued from time to time in order to provide clarifications. Some circulars issued in the past have become redundant owing to amendments carried out in the Rules and also in the light of ever evolving case law.

While a huge number of circulars has been issued by the Ministry in the past, an attempt has been made to present a selective handy compilation of the circulars which deal with frequently asked questions with the hope that it will provide useful guidance in conducting the disciplinary proceedings in a legally sustainable manner.

(Renuka Nair)
Dy. Director, Estt.(Discipline & Appeal)
Railway Board.

Important points to be kept in view by the Disciplinary/Appellate/ Revisionary/Reviewing authorities and Inquiry Officers
while handling disciplinary cases

It is noticed that in many cases, the disciplinary proceedings get vitiated on account of failure to follow the prescribed procedures. Some of the common mistakes which are committed by the Disciplinary/Appellate/Revisionary/Reviewing Authorities and inquiry Officers have been brought out in this brochure for guidance/information of all concerned.

2. Disciplinary Authority:

a) The chargesheet should be issued by the appropriate ·Disciplinary Authority prescribed in the schedules. It is also essential that the chargesheet is signed by the Disciplinary Authority himself and not by any lower authority on his behalf.

b) The provisions in Rule 8 have to be kept in view while ascertaining whether the chargesheet has been issued by the correct authority. In respect of non-gazetted delinquent staff, a major penalty chargesheet can be issued only by an authority who is competent as per the schedules, to impose on that Railway servant at least one of the major penalties. However, in respect of delinquent employee of gazetted rank, a major penalty chargesheet can also be issued by an authority who is competent to impose on that delinquent employee at least one of the minor penalties.

c) Disciplinary Authority would be with reference to the post held by the charged official at the time of initiation of disciplinary action and not with reference to the post held by him at the time the alleged misconduct occurred.

(Board’s letter No. E(D&A)84/RG6-42 dated 08.08.84)

d) Disciplinary Authority in the case of Railway Servant officiating in higher post shall be determined with reference to the officiating post held by him at the time of taking action {Rule-7(3) of RS (D&A) Rules, 1968}. The delegation of powers under schedule-Ill has to be read with the provisions in the main rules as brought above, and not in isolation.

(Board’s letter No. E(D&A) 2005 RG6-19 dated 24.06.2005)

e) While (a), (b),{c) and {d) above refer to the level of the Disciplinary Authority, the Authority who actually functions as Disciplinary Authority can be none other than the one under whose administrative control the delinquent employee works. Also there can be only one Disciplinary Authority for an employee, e.g. for an operating staff, who is under the administrative control of Divisional Operating Manager ( DOM), only the DOM can act as Disciplinary Authority, even if the misconduct pertains to violation of commercial rules or safety rules and not Divisional Commercial Manager or Divisional Safety Officer.

(Board’s letters Nos. E(D&A)72RG6-13 dated 16.10.73 E(D&A)94RG6-69 dated 4.8.97) . ·

f) If the Disciplinary Authority of a charged official is also involved in the same case then he should not act as the Disciplinary Authority in the said case. The authority who is next higher in the hierarchy should act as the Disciplinary Authority.

(Board’s letter No. E(D&A)90 RG6- 123 dated 09.11.90)

g) The authority looking after the current duties of a post cannot exercise the disciplinary functions assigned to the said post.

(Board’s letter No. F(E) 60 SAi/i dt.4.3.63)

h) Authority who has acted as a member or Chairman of a Fact Finding Inquiry or Accident Inquiry should not act as Disciplinary Authority because the Charged employee would apprehend that the officer having expressed earlier an opinion would not, as a Disciplinary Authoity. depart from his own earlier finding. He may not thus get justice. However, if the report does not indicate a final opinion but only a view, prima facie, he can act as a Disciplinary Authority. A member or chairman of the Fact Finding Inquiry or Accident Inquiry cannot, however act as an Inquiry Officer in that case since the Inquiry Officer should be an authority who should not have prejudged the guilt, even provisionally at an early stage.

(Board’s letter Nos.E(D&A)63 .RGS-16 dt.23.12.68 read with letter dt.23.5.69)

3. Charge Memorandum:

a) The charges in a charge memorandum should be drawn up in clear and distinct articles of charges, separate for each alleged act of omission/commission . The charges should be specific and not vague. Where the charges are not entirely separate and distinct, it would be more appropriate to combine the various elements of the charges into a single article of charge but in which the different elements are brought out clearly.

b) The articles of charges and the statement of imputation in support of the articles of charges should not be identically worded. While the article of charge should be concise, the statement of imputation should contain details, references etc. relating to the charges and should generally give a clearer idea about the facts and circumstances relating to the alleged act of commission or omission. Specific rules/instructions which may have been violated by the charged official should also be mentioned in the statement of imputation.

c) The list of documents by which and the list of witnesses by whom the charges are proposed to be sustained should be comprehensive and drawn up with due care taking into account the relevance of each document/witness in establishing the articles of charges, their availability and ease of being produced during the inquiry etc. If it is found after the issue of chargesheet that additional documents/witnesses have to be added to the lists, a suitable corrigendum to the charged memorandum should be issued.

d) Clause (i), (ii) & (iii) of Rule 3(1) of RS(Conduct) Rules, 1966 have different connotations. While framing charges care should be taken to invoke only the relevant clause of Rule 3(i) of RS(Conduct) Rules, 1966.

(Para 4 of No. E(D&A) 2008 RGG-41 dated 06.02.2009)

e) Where intention is to bring out the gravity of the charge in a particular case due to the fact that punishments in the past have not resulted in better conduct on the part of the charged official, then the previous record should be brought out in the charge sheet itself to enable the charged official to defend himself with reference to these factors also. Otherwise, Disciplinary Authority cannot take into account the previous misconducts while taking a decision in regard to the present case.

(Board’ s letter No. E(D&A)68 RG6-37 dated 23.09.68)

f) Preliminary Enquiry Report/Vigilance Investigation Report should not be made a Relied Upon Document while issuing a Charge Memorandum to a Charged Officer. These reports are strictly for the consumption of the competent authority and it is not necessary to give access to these reports to the Charged Officer. Reference to such reports should be· strictly avoided in the statement of allegation; failing which, it shall not be possible to deny access to these reports to the Charged Officer and will not be in public interest.

(No. E(D&A) 68 RG 6-26 dated 29.06.1968)

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