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Recently Mumbai Police Commissioner dismissed a Police officer from service without a departmental enquiry. The commissioner did this by exercising his powers under Article 311(2) (b)
Article 311 of the Indian Constitution: Article 311 deals with the dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil capacities under the Union or a State.
Safeguards under Article 311 for Civil Servants:
- Article 311(1): It says that no government employee either of an all India service or a state government shall be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to the one that appointed them.
- Article 311(2): It says that no civil servant shall be dismissed/ removed/ reduced in rank except after an enquiry. Further, they have to be informed of the charges and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.
Process of Departmental Enquiry:
- In a departmental enquiry, after an enquiry officer is appointed. The civil servant is given a formal charge sheet of the charges. The civil servant can represent himself or choose to have a lawyer.
- Witnesses can also be called during the departmental enquiry. Following that the enquiry officer can prepare a report and submit it to the government for further action.
Exceptions under Article 311:
- Article 311(2) (a): It says that if a government employee is convicted in a criminal case, he can be dismissed without Departmental Enquiry (DE).
- Article 311(2)(c): It says that the government employee can be dismissed when the President or the Governor is satisfied that in the interest of the security of state it is not required to hold such an enquiry, the employee can be dismissed without DE.
Can the dismissal under section 311(2) be challenged by the government employee?
- Yes, the government employee dismissed under these provisions can approach either tribunal or courts.
Source: Indian Express