IDD. RRB. NO. C-174/367/86-87

20 June 1987


The Chairman,

(All Regional Rural Banks)

Dear Sir

Guidelines for the procedure to be adopted for disciplinary action in RRBs.


We have been receiving a number of references from Chairman of RRBs requesting us for guidance disciplinary procedure to be adopted by RRBs for· disciplinary action against their staff. In order to meet the demands of the Chairman of RRBs, we have prepared a set of guidelines on the above subject with help of our Legal Department and representatives of some sponsor banks/ RRBs. A copy of the manual is enclosed for your guidance.

NABARD guidelines on Disciplinary Action in Regional Rural Banks -1987


Regulation 30 of the (Staff) Service Regulations, which deals with disciplinary proceedings, provides for the penalties that may be imposed on an officer or employee of the bank guilty of misconduct. The Regulation, which is reproduced below lays down the procedure which should be adopted before penalty can be imposed on an official.


(i) Without prejudice to the provisions of other regulations, an Officer or employee who commits a breach of these regulations or who displays negligence, inefficiency or indolence or who knowingly does anything detrimental to the interests of the bank, or in conflict with its instructions or who commits a breach oi' discipline or is guilty of any other act of misconduct, shall be liable to the following penalties:

(a) reprimand;

(b) delay or stoppage of increments or promotion;

(c) degradation to a lower post or grade or to a lower stage in his incremental Scale.

(d) recovery from pay of the whole or part of any pecuniary loss caused to the Bank by the Officer or employee;

(e) Removal from serving which shall not be a disqualification for  future employment;

(f) Dismissal

(ii) No officer or employee shall be subjected  to the penalties referred to in Clause (c), (d), or (f) of sub-regulation (1) except by an order in writing signed by the Chairman and no such order shall be passed without the charge being formulated in writing and given to the said officer or employee so that he shall have reasonable opportunity to answer them in writing and or in person as he prefers and in the latter case his defence shall be taken down in writing and record to him.

Provided that the requirements of this sub-regulation may be waived, if the facts on the basis of which action is to be taken have been established in a Court of Law or Court of Martial, or where the officer or employee has absconded or where it is for any other reason impracticable to communicate with him or there is difficulty in observing them and the requirements can be waved without injustice to him. In every case where all or any of the requirements of this sub-regulation are waived, the reason for so doing shall be recorded in writing.

(iii) The inquiry under this regulation and the procedure with the exception of the final order,  may be delegated, in case the person against whom proceedings, are taken is an officer, and in the case of an employee to any officer. For purposes of the inquiry, the officer or employee may not engage a legal practitioner.

(iv An officer or employee may be placed under suspension by the officer empowered to pass the final order under this regulation. During such suspension, the officer or employee shall receive subsistence allowance equal to one-third of the basic pay the officer or employee was receiving on the day he is put under suspension plus dearness allowances and other allowances excluding conveyance allowance, entertainment allowance and special allowances calculated on the reduced pay for the first three months of suspension. For the subsequent period after three months he shall be entitled to draw 1/2 of the basic pay plus the dearness allowances and other allowances specified above calculated on the reduced pay.

Provided that if no penalty under clause (b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) of sub-regulation imposed, the officer or employee shall be refunded the difference between the subsistence allowance and the emoluments which he would have received but for such suspension, for the period he was under

Suspension, and that, if a penalty is imposed on him under all or any of the said clauses, no order sha11 be passed which shall have the effect of compelling him to refund such subsistence allowance. The period during which an officer or employee is under suspension shall, if he is not dismissed from the service, be treated as period spent on duty, leave, or period not spent on duty as the officer who passes the final order may direct.

The penalty prescribed in sub-regulation (1) can be imposed only after following the procedure as laid down in the regulation strictly in accordance with the principles of natural justice. Broadly stated, in a case of disciplinary action, those principles require that :

i) there is good and sufficient reason for formulating the charges;

ii) the charge-sheeted official knows precisely what the charges are against him and the grounds on which these have been based;

iii) the employee is given reasonable opportunity to show cause against the penalty proposed to be imposed on him.


The term 'Officer and 'employee' for the purpose of disciplinary proceedings under Regulation 30 relate to persons appointed to any of the posts specified in sub-regulation (2) and (3) respectively pf regulation 3 and governed by the provisions of  the (Staff) Service Regulations. Temporary staff appointed in terms of Regulation 4 also will be covered by the word “employee” if their appointment order provides for application of Chapter· IV of the Regulation to them. In this note whenever a reference is in respect of both ‘Officer’ and 'employee' the term 'Official' has been used.


The authority competent to institute disciplinary proceedings (here in after referred to as “the disciplinary authority'' against an official of the bank under the (Staff) Service Regulations, is its Chairman. The power to hold enquiry can however be delegated by the disciplinary authority. Regulation 30(3) provides that the enquiry and the procedure may be delegated in case the person against whom proceeding are taken is an officer, to any officer who is senior to such officer and in case of an employee, to any officer. However, the final order on the basis of the enquiry can be issued only by the Chairman under his signature. In every case of delegation of powers to hold an ‘enquiry', a formal memorandum of delegation has to be issued under the signature of the Chairman authorising the Enquiry Officer to hold the oral enquiry.


The various types of misconduct which would render an official liable to disciplinary action have been mentioned in Regulation 30(f) of the (Staff) Service Regulations which also provides for dealing with officials guilty of “any other misconduct; not included therein. It may be added that the act of which would warrant disciplinary action against an official need not necessarily be one that is committed during office hours and within the bank’s premises only. Any misconduct committed within the bank's premises (even if not directly connected with the official's official duties), or outside the bank if  the act can be considered as detrimental to the interest of the bank or is inconsistent with the discharge of official’s duties, come within the purview of Regulation 30.


As soon as an act of misconduct 1s brought to the bank's notice an officer who is a superior of the official and who is administratively authorised in this behalf should conduct a preliminary investigation and on the basis of the results of such investigation, issue to the delinquent official a memorandum/letter stating therein in a clear and precise manner the facts and circumstances of the incident and advising the official to submit his explanation in regard to the alleged misconduct by a specified date (normally a week's time may be allowed; but extension of the period may be granted bn request at the discretion of the official issuing the letter/memo depending on the genuineness of the request). It may be that some other officers/employees were involved in the incident and it would be necessary to call for an explanation from each one of them also. The intention is that as exhaustive and factual account of the incident as can be obtained should be kept on record in the interest of natural justice and fair play. The purpose of the preliminary investigation is to arrive at a decision as to whether or not disciplinary proceedings should be instituted against the delinquent official and this being so, it is desirable, that the investigation/examination of other officials connected with the incident is not made in his presence.


When the explanation is received, a detailed report should be forwarded to the Disciplinary Authority with the comments of the superior who had issued the memorandum letter as to whether the explanation is acceptable to him with due regard to the evidence available in support of the charges.

If the. explanation is not submitted, a further extension of time may be given in writing to the official and if, even then, no explanation is forthcoming the Disciplinary Authority should be advised to that effect and he shall, without waiting any further, take suitable decision for initiating disciplinary action.

The explanation submitted by the official in response to the memorandum/letter issued to him as also the detailed report should be considered by the Disciplinary Authority and on an assessment of the contentions made therein, he' may decide (a) to accept the explanation and close the case or (b) to start disciplinary proceedings against the official. In the latter case, a formal charge-sheet should be drawn up and served on the official. The decision whether to initiate disciplinary action or not against the concerned official should be taken by the Disciplinary Authority preferably within a fortnight of the receipt of the detailed report.


(a) Where the Disciplinary Authority considers the explanation submitted by the official as satisfactory be may drop action against the official concerned. The Disciplinary Authority has,  however, no discretion to compromise a misconduct and decide not to take disciplinary action.

(b) If, on perusal of Show-cause notice and the explanation submitted by the official the Disciplinary Authority considers that the act of misconduct committed by the official, is such that the penalty of reprimand would meet the ends of justice, no formal enquiry need be held Regulation 30(2) ibid).

(c) It the charge-sheeted official has unconditionally confessed to his guilt and does not plead any extenuating circumstances as. an excuse to the misconduct, the formal enquiry may be dispensed with and the Disciplinary Authority may proceed to issue show cause notice on penalty (see paras 10 and 19 below).


Where it is proposed to hold an enquiry the Disciplinary Authority shall frame definite and

distinct charges on the basis of the allegations against the official and the articles of charge, together with a statement of the allegations on which they are based shall be communicated in writing to the official and he shall be required to submit within a specified time (not exceeding 15 days) his defence in writing. In case he chooses to submit his defence orally, the same shall be noted by the disciplinary authority in the presence of the delinquent and get the same signed by the delinquent. On specific request from the charge-sheeted official, extension of time may be granted by Disciplinary Authority at his discretion after an assessment of the merits and ensuring that it is not on frivolous grounds or with the intention of adopting delaying tactics.

The essential characteristics of a charge sheet are:

a) , The charge/s should be clearly and precisely set out in simple language with correct account of facts including the date, time and place of the occurrence of the incident.

b) It should be strictly confined to the act/acts of misconduct alleged and in regard to which explanation was obtained.

c) In case there are more than one charge, each charge should be set out separately and should contain reference to relevant standing orders or regulations. If the type of alleged lapse or offence is not specified on the standing orders or regulations, the act of misconduct should be mentioned in detail.

d) It must state the regulation under which it is being issued (viz~ Regulation 30 of the (Staff) Service Regulation).

e) It should be issued under the signature of the Disciplinary Authority.

A. Charge-Sheet should not

i) contain vague charge/s;

ii ) be so worded so as to give the impression that Disciplinary Authority is prejudiced in the matter;

iii) refer to the Past record or acts of the official.

iv) contain expression of opinion as to the guilt of the official.


It is necessary that the charge sheet is served on the official as early as possible. The common method of serving a charge-sheet is by personal service when the official’s signature is obtained on the duplicate copy of the charge-sheet. If the official refuses to accept the charge-sheet, note to this effect should be made in the duplicate copy of the charge-sheet by the person entrusted with the duty of serving the charge-sheet and this could be countersigned by another person witnessing such service. Where, however; .the charge-sheet cannot be served in person, it is advisable to send it under registered post with acknowledgement due to the latest available address of the official in the official records or to his latest known address. Where the registered

cover is returned with the endorsement ‘refused’ the presumption is that the cover was presented to the addressee but was not accepted; hence in effect it becomes a valid service.

Simultaneously with or immediately after the issue of charge-sheet, the official should be furnished with a list of witnesses who would be examined on behalf of the bank. Similarly, the charge sheeted official should be advised in the charge-sheet itself to submit a list of witnesses he would wish to produce in his defence. It should however, be noted that non-submission of such a list by the charge-sheeted official does not entitle the bank to deny him production of witnesses at the time of enquiry.



(A)      GENERAL :

In every case of disciplinary action, where a Charge Sheet has been issued, it is necessary to have a formal enquiry. There may be Cases where the official who is issued Shah sheet may confess his guilt and seek pardon. In these cases where the disciplinary authority is not inclined to grant a pardon as requested, a question arises whether a forma1 enquiry should be held. If discipline authority is satisfied that the admission of the charges on the part of the employee is unconditional and does not plead any extenuating circumstances that discipline authority may decide to dispense with a formal enquiry and proceeded to record his findings and propose such penalty or penalties, as he may consider fit and proper and issue notice of the proposed penalties to the delinquent official and call upon him why such penalties should not be imposed (see para 19 below). If the admission of the charges by the official is subject to conditions or subject to certain extenuating circumstances mentioned in the admission or the charges involve a major misconduct, then it may be necessary and advisable to hold a formal enquiry.

Whenever the disciplinary authority decided upon holding of formal enquiry, he should intimate the official to whom the charge sheet has been issued of the holding of the departmental enquiry. In cases where it is decided to hold  formal enquiry instead of the admission by the official charges made against him or where the official admits the charges after the enquiry has commenced, it would be necessary to read out the charges to him, explain them whenever record the evidence in support of the charges and obtain the officials admission in writing. In case the official refuses to give in writing admission of the charges read out to be recorded by the Enquiry Officer in the proceedings of the day and got it signed by the representatives for both the sides. Where the official does not accept the charges, a more elaborate oral enquiry should be held. While the oral enquiry is not a judicial enquiry, it is absolutely essential that in conducting such an emquiry, principles of  natural justice are observed and adequate opportunity is given to the charge sheeted official to enable him to put up a proper defence.


Enquiry may be held either by the Disciplin ary Authority himself or the power to hold the enquiry may be delegated es provided for in Sub-Regulation (3) of Regulation 30 of the (Staff) Service Regulations, In the latter case a formal order appointing an Enquiry Officer should be issued. The essential qualifications of a person chosen as an Enquiry Officer are his competence, confidence and open mindedness. Broadly speaking rules of natural justice require that the person holding the enquiry:

i) should not himself be personally interested in the alleged misconduct;

ii) should not be biased in favour of or against either of the parties; to ensure impartiality and objectivity; and

iii) should not be an eye-witness or a victim of the incident relating to the alleged misconduct.

As soon as an Enquiry Officer is appointed the official concerned should be advised in this regard.


(i) Enquiry Officer should not be changed till the enquiry for which he is appointed comes to an end. If owing to circumstances beyond the control of the Management an Enquiry Authority has to be changed then it is within the discretion of the new Enquiry Officer to hear the case de novo or from the stage where it has reached, keeping in mind the fact that the official must receive fair and just treatment consistent with the principles of natural justice.


(ii) if the charge sheeted official makes a representation either before, or after commencement of the enquiry proceedings, that the enquiry officer biased or prejudiced against him for reasons, indicated in his representation, the discipline authority may consider the objection, and if he is satisfied that there is substance in the objections raised by the official, pass orders, finding a new enquiry officer.



The bank may appoint an officer to present the Bank's case before the Enq     uiry Officer. It shall be the endeavour of this officer to establish or prove the charges to the satisfaction of the Enquiry Officer by producing witnesses and other documentary and other evidence in support of the charges. He will act as the representative of the Management in the enquiry proceedings. He will examine the Management’s witnesses and cross-examine the witnesses produced by the delinquent official.


On request, the charge-sheeted official shall be supplied with a copy of the original report on the basis of which the charge/s has/have been framed aga~nst him as well as copies of such other reports or statements which have been relied upon for the facts of the case that have been included in the charge-sheet. If the charge-sheeted official expresses his desire to examine/pursue the office records which form material evidence in regard to the charges, his request has to acceded to. Whether a certain report or statement or register is relevant for the purpose of the charge-sheeted officer/employee's defence or not, is normally decided by the Disciplinary Authority; but it is desirable in the interest of natural justice to allow the employee access to material even though seemingly insignificant to his defence provided the request is otherwise considered reasonable. Denial of such material very often results in avoidable delay and is likely to prompt the official to adopt dilatory tactics. It is not necessary that the charge-sheeted employee should be supplied with copies of report, statements, etc. only after he has replied to the charges. If reasonable, request for supply of copies of relevant documents may be considered even before he submits his reply to the charges, but it is absolutely essential that the disciplinary authority uses his discretion in this regard prudently. Care should be taken to supply the charge-sheeted official with copies of only such of the comments as are to be relied upon by the Bank to be brought in evidence during the oral enquiry or such other as may be considered necessary for the proper defence of the employee keeping in view the principles of natural justice.



A charge-sheeted official has every right to represent his own case. At this option, he

may be allowed to be represented by any other employee of the bank or an officer bearer of the trade union of which he is a member. In such cases, the charge sheeted employee should address letter to the bank or if an Enquiry Officer is already appointed to the Enquiry Officer concerned, proposing such representative as his nominee and declare that he (the charge sheeted official) will be bound by all that the nominee does, says or signs. Wherever an Officer bearer or other number of the trade Union is deputed by the Union to def'end the charge sheeted employee, a formal letter should be addressed by the Trade Union stating that the nominee of the charge sheeted employee has been deputed as its representative to defend the charge sheeted employee. It is not necessary that the Union should have been recognised by the Bank. sufficient if the Union of the Bank employees is a registered Union.

Generally, the charge-sheeted, official is not entitled to be represented by a legal practioner or. an outsider who is not connected with the Bank. However, if the presenting officer is a legally trained man including a Law Officer or a Legal Adviser of the Bank, the delinquent employee will have a right to be defended by a Lawyer notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Sub Reg (3) of Reg 30 of the Staff Service Regulations. (Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay Vs. Dr. Nadkarni - AIR 1983 - Supreme Court Page 109)

If an employee is charged for a cross misconduct involving criminal offences like fraud , mis-appropriation, embezzlement of accounts, ·forgery, theft, etc. and if he so indicates to be represented by a lawyer in the enquiry, the Enquiry Officer/Disciplinary Authority may notwithstanding the prohibition contained in Sub-Reg. (3) of Reg. 30 of the Staff Service Regulations, consider such requests in the light of the facts and circumstances of the case and consider allowing the delinquent official to be represented by a legal practitioner or any other outsider of the choice of the delinquent. In such cases, the Bank also may consider getting its case represented by a legally trained person or a legal practioner or a Law Officer of the Bank.

As to the question whether in a given case the charges are of a serious and of a complex nature involving criminal offences or not has to be decided by the Enquiry Officer/ Disciplinary Authority on the basis of the facts and circumstances of the case and if necessary the Legal Advisor of the Bank may be consulted.

The role of the defence representative is to present the charge sheeted employee's case, examine and cross examine witnesses, raise objections to procedural lacunas, if any, and sum up the case on behalf of the employee. The representative should not be allowed to give oral evidence on behalf of charge-sheeted employee nor should he be permitted to answer questions put by the Enquiry Officer to the charge-sheeted employees. In the case of any enquiry against ah officer, the Disciplinary Authority may at his discretion allow the officer to be defended by another officer of the bank.


(A)      GENERAL


The Enquiry Officer shall fix the date, time and venue for oral enquiry and thereafter give notice to both the parties in this regard. If the official does not attend on the appointed date and the case is adjourned then a fresh notice should be sent. Where the employee refuses to accept the notice, the fact should be officially recorded by the official serving the notice and counter signed by another person in whose presence such notice is sought to be served. ln such cases it is also desirable to send the notice to the employee's address by registered post with acknowledgement due and to preserve the postal documents. While issuing the notice it should be seen that the charge-sheeted employee gets adequate notice. If the official does not present himself at the enquiry or after presenting himself walks away or fails to attend subsequent adjournments without sufficient cause, the Enquiry Officer may record an order declaring him ex-parte and proceed ahead with the enquiry in the absence of the delinquent.

Where there is no strict rule for selecting the place of inquiry, as far as possible, it should be arranged at a place where the charge-sheeted employee is employed. If for any administrative or other special reasons it becomes necessary to hold the enquiry at a place away from the place of work, it should be seen that the employee, is not put to undue hardship.

The enquiry into the charges against an official should be conducted in his presence and in the presence of his representative, if any. It is only where he refuses to participate, the enquiry can be held ex-parte. Arrangements should be made for a stenographer/typist being present to record the proceedings. Apart from the Enquiry Officer and his Stenographer/typist, the following persons may be present during the proceedings in the room where the enquiry is conducted ;

i) the charge-sheeted official;

ii) the charge-sheeted official’s representative if any.

iii) the Presenting Officer;

iv) any person chosen by the Enquiry Officer to provide him with necessary secretarial assistance.

The witnesses should be called in one by one for examination as and when considered necessary and at the time evidence of a particular witness is being taken, the other witnesses should not be permitted to be present in the room where the enquiry is being conducted.


When the enquiry commences, the Enquiry Officer should record the date and time of the enquiry and the names of the persons present. He should also formally ask the charge-sheeted official his name, designation and the office/department to which he belongs, to established his identify. Then the Enquiry Officer should take on record both the charge-sheet and the employee's written reply, if any. The Enquiry Officer should himself read out the charged to the charge-sheeted employee. In case the charge-sheeted employee is not familiar with English language, the charges should be explained to him in the local language with which he is familiar. He should ask the official understands the meaning of the charges and whether he admits the charges; the eployee's reply (not from his representative) should be recorded. Then the Enquiry Officer should explain to all present, the procedure he would be adopting for the enquiry and record this.

Even if the charge sheeted officer admits the charges it would be desirable to proceed with the enquiry and establish the charges through evidence unless the charge is minor in nature. This is because it may be contended later that the admission of guilt was due to coercion, mistake etc. and not voluntary.


After the above preliminary are completed, the Enquiry Officer should call upon the Presenting Officer to present the case in support of the charges. Normally, oral enquiries fall into two categories based on the kind of evidence that will be brought in at the time of enquiry. Those are:

i)    the charge-sheeted official does not examine any witness or documents on his behalf and the bank also does not examine any witnesses but flies only on documents to establish the charge;

ii) witnesses are examined/re-examined by the Bank and also by the  charge-sheeted official. In the case of an enquiry in category (i) above, the Presenting Officer should place before the charge sheeted official all the documents which the bank relies. upon to prove the charges and enquire of the official if he has anything to say in regard to them.

Any statement that the official may make shou1d be recorded by the Enquiry Officer and countersigned by the charge-sheeted employee and his representative, if any. In the case of an enquiry in category (ii) above, the Presenting Officer should lead evidence in support of the charges by examining witnesses, producing documents etc. Documents should be proved through witnesses. The witnesses examined in support of charges should be available for cross-examination by the charge-sheeted official/his representative.

Normally, cross examination of each witness is done immediately after his examination by the Presenting Officer is closed. However, if the charge-sheeted official/his representstive requires that he may be allowed to cross-examine all or some of the banks witness later and not immediately after the examination-in-chief is closed, the Enquiry Officer may agree to the same if valid reasons are given for such a request. After the bank's witnesses has been cross-examined by the charge-sheeted official/his representative, it will be open to the Presenting Officer to re-examine the witness to clarify any point that might have been raised during the cross-examination. Thereafter, the evidence of that witness will be treated as closed.

After the examination of the evidence in support of the charges is completed, the charge-sheeted official should if he so desires, be allowed to lead evidence in his defence. For this purpose, the charge-sheeted official/his representative should examine his witnesses one by one. The charge sheeted official can examine himself in his defence.

All witnesses examined by the charge-sheeted official ln his defence including the charge- sheeted official himself, will be subject to cross examination by the presenting officer. They can be re-examined by the charge-sheeted official/his representatives, to clarify and point raised during the cross-examination. In cases where the charge-sheeted official is not examined as witness, if/it is felt by the management, this cross-examination is necessary the Enquiry Officer may be asked to question the employee on specific issues. The charge-sheeted official can then make a statement by himself or through his representative.

After the evidence on both sides is closed, the Presenting Officer will sum up his case to show how in his view the charges have been established by making reference to the relevant evidence of the witnesses and the material placed before the Enquiry Officer. The charge-sheeted official/his representative should be given an opportunity to address the Enquiry Officer to sum up his defence. Thereafter, the Presenting Officer may be allowed by the Enquiry Officer to deal with any new points that may be raised by the charge-sheeted official/his representative during the course of his defence. Both the Presenting Officer and the employee/his representative may in addition to making oral submission file written briefs of their respective cases within a fortnight of the completion of production of evidence which should be taken into account.


Disciplinary action in all cases of misconduct comments from a complaint or report of a person, which usually forms the basis of charge-sheet. Such complaints are considered is material evidence and the persons who own them become material witnesses.· Similarly, there may be vital and important witnesses to give testimony to facts and incidents or to prove or disprove particular points or corroborate certain statements. These witnesses may have to be examined during the enquiry. Incidentally, the witness presented before the Enquiry Officer may be employees of the bank or outsiders. Each party must arrange to produce his own witnesses before the Enquiry Officer and bear the necessary expenses.



All relevant documents to be presented on behalf of the bank before the enquiry should be done so through the evidence of relevant witnesses. Similarly if there are any objects relevant to prove the charges should be produced before the Enquiry Officer through the relevant witnesses. The delinquent official may also get documents/objects produced through his witnesses or through the deposition given by himself during the enquiry. The Enquiry Officer should carefully number the documents and objects so produced. All documents produced on behalf of the Bank may be marked as Exhibit P-1, Exhibit P-2 and so on and the objects marked on behalf of the Bank may be marked as Exhibit P-01, Exhibit P-02 and so on for easy reference. Similarly, all documents produced on behalf of the defence should be marked as Exhibit D-1, Exhibit D-2 and so on and the objects marked on behalf of the defence may be marked as Exhibit D-01, Exhibit D-02 and so on for easy reference.


The Enquiry Officer which be in charge of the conduct of the enquiry proceedings. He will hear the evidence presented by both sides. It be open to him to address questions to any witness being examined before him including the charge sheeted official/his representative. He should not, however, put questions with the object of obtaining evidence to support the charges. His questions can be only such as to seek clarifications if any objections raised by either the Present Officer or the charge-sheeted official/his representative, the Enquiry Officer may give his ruling thereon. It is open to the parties to appeal to the Disciplinary Authority against the Enquiry Officer's decision. If the Enquiry Officer has any doubt about any of the points arising out of the enquiry, he may refer the matter to the Disciplinary Authority.


A record of the proceedings of the enquiry should be maintained and the enquiry is spread over a number of days, a record of day-to-day proceedings should be made. The proceedings should be recorded as far as possible. The full deposition of the witnesses should be recorded; If the proceedings had been conducted in vernacular, the records should be maintained in the same language. The Proceedings so recorded should be signed by the Enquiry Officer, the Presenting Officer and charge-sheeted official and the representative (if any). If the proceedings record the evidence given by any witness, the signature of that witness also should be obtained on the sheets where his deposition is recorded. The signature should be obtained on every page of the recorded proceedings except in the page containing the conclusion of his evidence and his initials on the other sheets. Copies of the proceedings as recorded from time to time shou1d be furnished to the Charge-sheeted employee and the Presenting Officer. If any one refuses to put his signature on the recorded proceedings, the Enquiry Officer should make an endorsement to this effect and get it attested by other signatories.


Adjournments should be granted by the Enquiry-Officer only under unavoidable circumstances such as sickness of the employee or for other equally valid reasons. In case of sickness of the official a medical case of witness, whose signatures shall be obtained in the certificate should be insisted upon. Normally an adjournment should not be for more than a week and at the time of granting the adjournment the next date of enquiry should be fixed and conveyed to the parties concerned. Where adjournment is refused the reason for refusal should be recorded by the Enquiry Officer.


If the charge sheeted official does not attend, despite sufficient opportunity having been given to him to present himself or refuses to attend the Enquiry despite due notice and repeated advices, the oral enquiry can be conducted exparte. The Enquiry officer should record in the proceedings the fact of the officials, absense or refusal at the commencement of the enquiry. Thereafter the bank's witnesses may be examined an the evidence brought on record. In such cases the evidence should be first led before the Enquiry officer to satisfy him that notice of Enquiry had been duly served on the official and despite this her has failed or refused to attend the enquiry it is, however, necessary to follow all the steps laid down for conducting the enquiry.


The enquiry officer is required to record his findings after in enquiry. The role of the Enquiry Officer in a departmental enquiry is a fact finding one, he does not exercise any judicial powers and he is ~expected to go by the rules of natural Justice.

He should get at the truth of the charges or as near to it as he can on the basis of evidence of witnesses and/or documents. He should collect the evidence and after allowing full opportunity to the charge-sheeted official to test the veracity of such evidence, arrive at a bonafide finding on the basis of evidence led. It is absolutely necessary that the Enquiry Officer records his findings in respect of such charge. His report should contain (i) the charges and the statement of allegations constituting the charges; ( ii) the defence of the charge-sheeted employee in respect of each charge; (iii) assessment of evidence in respect of each charge and (iv) findings on each charge and the reasons thereof. The findings which should be based on the evidence led in the enquiry should clearly mention whether the charge in respect of which it is recorded, stands established or not. The Enquiry Officer should ensure that matters which are extraneous to the enquiry are not taken into account and facts which do not form part of the record of the enquiry or on which no evidence has been led. are not relied upon for arriving at his findings. The Enquiry Officer should not make any recommendations or suggestions regarding the penalty to be imposed.


The Enquiry Officer should submit his report as well as the record of proceedings of the enquiry the documents and other objects marked as Exhibits during the enquiry proceedings to the Disciplinary Authority who after going through the report may or may not agree with the findings of the Enquiry Officer. If the Disciplinary Authority agrees with the findings, he need not analyse the evidence. He may merely record that he has carefully. gone through the evidence led in the enquiry and the report of the Enquiry Officer and that he agrees with the findings. If the Disciplinary Authority comes to the conclusion that the charges stand established on the basis of the evidence led in the enquiry, the next step is to propose a suitable penalty. The quantum of publishment is within the discretion of the Disciplinary Authority but the punishment should be commensurate with the gravity of the offence and in the interest of discipline and decorum. While imposing the punishment, the Disciplinary Authority shall take into consideration the gravity of the misconduct, service record of the official and extenuating and aggravation factors relating to the work situation of the official. The penalties that may be proposed have been prescribed in sub regulation (1} of Regulation 30. The official found guilt should not be given more than one punishment in respect of any one charge. If the charge-sheeted employee has been placed tentatively proposes to impose a penalty other than dismissal, the order of suspension should be revoked as on the date of making the tentative order and the official should be allowed to resume his duties forthwith. He should also pass orders regarding the manner in which the suspended period shall be treated. In case the Disciplinary Authority disagrees with the findings of the Enquiry Officer, he shall record his reasons for such disagreement and also record his own findings on such charge/s, if the evidence on record is sufficient for the purpose.

The findings as recordebly such authority read with the report of the Enquiry Officer would become the findings in respect of the disciplinary action. The Disciplinary Authority has also for reasons to be recorded by him, the authority to remit the case for fresh or further enquiry and report.


Having decided the punishment the Disciplinary Authority should issue a show cause notice to the official concerned. In that notice the official should be advised of the reasons on which the authority has come to the conclusion that the official is guilty and to show cause why the proposed penalty should not be imposed on him. He should be advised, internally, that he should make his representation in this regard by a specified date (say within a period of 15 days) failing which the Disciplinary Authority proceed on the basis that he has no representation to make against the proposed punishment. The official should be furnished with copy of the findings of the competent authority along with a copy of the report of the Enquiry Officer. The official any make his representation in writing or orally to the Disciplinary Authority. If the official makes an oral representation the Disciplinary Authority may record it in writing in his presence and get the same signed. In case of refusal to sign, the Authority may make an endorsement thereon that effect.


The second enquiry which is a hearing in regard to the factum of punishment, should be held only by the Disciplinary Authority. During the course of the enquiry hearing should be in the form of arguments on the basis of evidence led in the first enquiry. The official should not be allowed to adduce fresh evidence or examine any witnesses. A brief record of the proceedings of the enquiry should be maintained.


After considering the proceedings of the oral the repbrt of the Enquiry Officer, and the submission of the official in reply to the show cause notice (second enquiry) the Disciplinary Authority should pass final  order in the disciplinary proceedings. In the final order the Disciplinary Authority may confirm the proposed penalty or modify it on the basis of merits of the officials representation. The penalties imposed may be one or more of those prescribed in Regulation 30(1) and seriousness of the charges. A copy of the final order should be served on the employee. An office order giving effect to the order should also be passed by the appropriate authority in the bank.

23.       APPEAL

An official has right of appeal to the Board of Directors of the bank against the order passed by the Disciplinary Authority vide Regulation 32 to 34 of the (Staff) Service Regulations. Any appeal against the final order of the Disciplinary Authority should be preferred within 30 days of the date of service of the order appealed against. The appeal shall;

i) be in writing and candied in polite and respectful language.

ii) contain all material statements and arguments relied upon shall be complete in themselves;

iii) specify the relief desired.

The Appellate Authority should consider whether the findings of the Disciplinary Authority are justified and the penalty imposed adequate and pass suitable orders as early as possible, say within two months from the date of receipt of the appeal.

24 .       SUSPENSION

Regulation 30(4) of the Regulation provides for suspension of the official by an officer empowered to pass the final order i.e. the Disciplinary Authority. The decision to place an official under suspension is entirely within the discretion of the Disciplinary Authority. No hard and fast rule can be prescribed in the matter of Broadly the norms which should guide the Disciplinary Authority in arriving at a decision to suspend an official would be:

A) the alleged misconduct or charge is of a very grave nature like:

i) rank insubordination;

ii) insulting/indecent/aggressive/violent behaviour·;

iii) prima facile, case of fraud or action supported by good documentary evidence;

iv) apparent malafide action where loss is caused/likely to be caused to the bank.

b) the presence of the official in office is detrimental to the interest of the bank or it is likely to hamper further investigation of the matter or it is regarded as a security risk. This is especially so in the case of officials handling cash or valuables;

c) the official's bonafides is suspect.

If it is considered necessary to suspend him, it is desirable that a decision is taken and implemented as soon as possible, preferably immediately after the alleged misconduct of the employee is brought to the notice of the bank.

An official who is arrested for debt or on a criminal charge or is detained in pursuance of any process of law, may if so directed by the Disciplinary Authority be treated as being or having been under suspension from the date of his arrest/detention upto such date or during such period as the Disciplinary Authority may direct. In these case it is advisable if an employee is not placed under suspension merely because to has been arrested unless the act of the official which led to the arrest has something to do with the affairs of the bank or the offense is of a very serious nature involving moral turpitude.

While passing orders of suspension the Disciplinary Authority should, wherever possible, give speaking orders disclosing the gravity of the alleged otfences/misconduct and giving reasons to warrant suspension.

Regulation 30(4) also provides for payment of subsistence allowance during the period of suspension an official. Except to the extent provided for therein has not entitled to any other benefits, such as leave trans concession medical facilities etc. for himself and his members either under State Service Regulations or Administrative Rules. He is  also not entitled to festival advance vehicle advance etc. and the housing loans. As the attract of employment subsists during the period of suspension it would not be open to the suspended official to take up any other employment during the period of suspension. The management is entitled to effect statutory deductions such as income tax as well as deduct the recovery of employee’s dues to the bank such as arising loan, vehicle loan, etc. from the subsistence allowance. Other optional deductions such as insurance premium may be deducted only with the consent of the official.

An order of suspension becomes effective immediately on its issue and not when it is communicated to the employee concerned, or duly served on him• When the disciplinary action against a suspended employee does not result in his discharge, the order of suspension should be revoked and it that the fact or withdrawal of suspension order is communicated to him with, direction to resume duties forthwith.

During the period of suspension pending enquiry,  there cannot be any resignation or termination of service by notice (vide Regulation 10). Likewise, the employer cannot terminate the service of a suspended official by notice or payment in lieu thereof as a consequential action connected with or emanating from the orders of such suspension.

In the event of death of an official under suspension, the whole action abates and the official shall be deemed to have been never placed under suspension and will be entitled

to all benefits with held.


After the Disciplinary Authority has passed orders on the penalty to be imposed on the official, it is necessary for him to pass order under the proviso, to sub-Regulation (4) of Regulation 30 on the manner in which the suspension period shall be treated and communicate the same to the delinquent also.

25.       OTHERS

Any notice, order, charge-sheet, communication or instruction which is meant for an individual official shall be in the language understood by him. In the case of absent official, notice etc. shall be sent to him by registered post with acknowledgement due. If an official refuses to accept any notice etc. in connection with disciplinary proceeding when it is sought to be served on him, such refusal shall be deemed to be good service upon him, provided such refusal takes place in the presence of outlast two persons including the person who goes to effect the service upon him. Where such notice etc; is. sent registered post with acknowledgement due, the same shall to deemed to have been duly served upon the official, if the has been refused by the official.