No Bar On Department Initiating Disciplinary Proceedings For Grave Misconduct Even If Not Connected With Discharge Of Duty: Madras HC

Upasana Sajeev

28 March 2024 5:14 AM GMT

  • No Bar On Department Initiating Disciplinary Proceedings For Grave Misconduct Even If Not Connected With Discharge Of Duty: Madras HC

    The Madras High Court has recently observed that there was no bar on a department for initiating disciplinary proceedings against an employee for grave misconduct even if the misconduct was not in connection with the discharge of duty. The Madurai bench of Justice G Jayachandran and Justice C Kumarappan made the observations on a plea filed by one Ramachandran questioning the...

    The Madras High Court has recently observed that there was no bar on a department for initiating disciplinary proceedings against an employee for grave misconduct even if the misconduct was not in connection with the discharge of duty.

    The Madurai bench of Justice G Jayachandran and Justice C Kumarappan made the observations on a plea filed by one Ramachandran questioning the charge memo.

    β€œIt is not a complete embargo on the department for initiating disciplinary proceedings if the misconduct happens to be grave in nature, though may not be in connection with the discharge of duty. If the arguments of the Petitioner are accepted, the Government servant who has murdered and arrayed as an accused and arrested, can also take such a plea and say that no disciplinary proceedings can be initiated against him since the offence of murder is committed outside the discharge of his duty,” the court observed.

    Ramachandran was working as a Teacher in a Government School when he was arrayed as an accused in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Since the proceeds of the crime were transferred to his account, Ramachandran was arrested and was in judicial custody for more than 48 hours. Subsequently, he was suspended and a charge memo was issued to him under Section 17(1)(b) of the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.

    Though Ramachandran filed a writ petition challenging the charge memo, the same was dismissed and a review petition was also dismissed. Thus, he moved the present appeal. Ramachandran argued that the departmental proceedings could not be allowed to continue in view of the guidelines issued by the Human Resources Department which say that disciplinary proceedings could be initiated only in connection with the discharge of official duty in the concerned department and not otherwise.

    Ramachandran argued that since the charges against him had nothing to do with the discharge of his duty, the charge memo could not be legally sustained.

    The court, however, rejected this contention and noted that there was no embargo on the initiation of disciplinary proceedings. The court thus dismissed the plea finding it to be devoid of merits.

    Counsel for the Appellant: Mr.K.Ramachandran (Party-in-person)

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Mad) 139

    Case Title: K Ramachandran v The District Educational Officer (Elementary Education)

    Case No: W.A.(MD) No.340 of 2024



    Next Story