Charge Sheet - Guidelines

1. Framing of Charges -


(a) Charge should contain particulars of the misconduct and should give the date, time, place, persons, or things involved.


(b) Language of the charge must be clear, precise, unambiguous, and free from vagueness.


(c) Separate charge should be framed in respect of each separate misconduct. Multiplication or splitting up of charges in respect of the same allegation should be avoided. If in the course of same transaction more than one misconduct is committed, each misconduct with imputation should be separately mentioned.


(d) Charge should not contain expression of opinion as to the guilt of the employees as it would mean that the disciplinary authority has prejudiced his mind and prejudged the issue.


(e) The word ‘that’ should be used at the commencement of the Article of charge to mean that they are not conclusions but only charges or allegations.


(f) Charge should not relate to matter, which is already the subject matter of an enquiry.


(g) Charge should mention the nature of misconduct/ misbehaviour.


(h) Charge should mention the standing order/ conduct rule violated.


(i) Charge should be accompanied by statement of imputations of misconduct or misbehaviour and lists of witnesses and documents.


(j) Statement of imputations should contain all relevant facts, in the form of narration.


(k) Statement of imputations should not refer to the preliminary enquiry report unless it is sought to be relied upon in support of the charge.


(l) Statement of imputations should not refer to advice of Vigilance Commission, Vigilance Department or any such agency or functionary.


(m) Statement of imputations should include admission or confession made by the employee.


(n) Statement of imputation should not enter into discussion of the evidence or express a view on the merits of the case.


(o) List of witnesses should be complete. Only such of them, who are proposed to be examined in support of the charge, should be mentioned.


(p) List of documents should be complete. Specific documents should be mentioned and not mere files unless the whole file is sought to be relied upon. Only such documents should be mentioned which are relied upon.


(q) Charge sheet should not indicate the penalty proposed to be imposed.


(r) Charge sheet may be withdrawn, if there are any flaws or for any other reason and a fresh charge may be framed.


(s) Competent authority should issue charge sheet.


(t) Charge Sheet should be served with a Memorandum, mentioning the Rule under which the employee is being proceeded against and requiring him to submit his explanation within a specified period considered reasonable or as provided in the Rules.


(u) In exceptional circumstances, charge sheet may be amended during the course of the enquiry, in which case, sufficient opportunity should be given to the delinquent employee to answer the amended charge.


(v) Any stipulated time to charged employee to reply.


(w) Mention the consequences if no reply is received within stipulated time.


(x) Charge should give details regarding name of the person or the object with which it is concerned. If this is not mentioned, then the charge is invalid as shown hereunder:


(i) Disobedience - The word “disobeyed” must be mentioned. What was the direction and what was the conduct, which contravened it, should be specified in the charge.


(ii) Theft - Full particular of materials stolen must be mentioned.  When the charge was that the worker sold the wastepaper belonging to the company, then the party to whom it was sold must be mentioned.


(iii) Threat, abuse, or incitement - Sometimes, some words are addressed to a person, and they may constitute either threat or abuse.  If the person addressed is a superior person, it amounts to insolence.  When such words are addressed to particular person, the name of such person should be mentioned. When such words are addressed to a large number of persons, then mentioning of names is not necessary. In the charge of inciting the workers to go on strike, it is necessary to give names of workers incited. Particulars of abusive language used must be given.


(iv) Misappropriation - All particulars of amount misappropriated must be given.


(v) Falsification of records - If details of particular items in respect of which the offence of falsification of records was committed are not mentioned, then the omission is fatal to the charge.


(vi) Rioting - In case of riotous incident involving several persons, it is sufficient to specify the particular incident, which amounts to misconduct.


(vii) Negligence - On charge of gross negligence involving the company into considerable financial loss it is not necessary that all the amount of financial loss should be mentioned because it is not relevant to charge. If it is not mentioned, the charge is not bad.


(viii) Bribery - If the employee is charged of taking bribe with the object that he will use his influence with any other public servant, then the words “with any other public servant” must be mentioned in the charge.


(ix) Unauthorized use - When the charge was that car was used as Taxi, then the copy of the check report containing the names of passengers should be given.


2. In certain cases, the manner of commission of misconduct should also be mentioned.


(a) If “A” is accused of cheating “B”, then the charge must set out the manner of cheating.


(b) If “A” is accused of having obstructed “B” then the manner in which “B” was obstructed must be said.


(c) If “A” is accused of stealing certain articles from a certain place at a certain time, then the charge is very clear even if the manner is not mentioned.


(d) Charge of deception - It is of no use using expressions like ‘fraud’, ‘fraudulent issue’ or ‘fraudulent disposal’ without giving particulars of fraud.


(e) Immoral character - If a person is charged for this, it is not sufficient merely to state the nature of charge, but sufficient details must also be given to enable the accused to understand the exact nature of charge.


(f) Insolent behaviour - Charge is vague if the date of incident, how and why and when the applicant acted insolently against the staff /officer is not spelt out clearly.


3. Charge sheet should contain facts instead of mere inference or judgment from facts. Some very important defects in the charge in this respect are mentioned herein below: -


(a) Insolent - When the charge is that the worker behaved in an insolent manner and persuaded others to stop the work, it is vague since it is devoid of essential particulars.


(b) Instigation - The word ‘Instigate’ means something more than merely asking a person to do a particular act. It should amount to urging further or to provoke or encourage doing an act. In view of this, the stimulating words must come from a person exercising some kind of influence.  When particulars of incitement were not given, then the charge is vague.


(c) Misbehaviour or Indiscipline - Absence of specific particulars as to when, where, with whom and the exact misbehaviour / indiscipline, the charge is said to be vague.


(d) Unsatisfactory work or Negligence - When the charge is that the work was unsatisfactory, then it is too vague a charge.


(e) Slow down - The charge that worker was slow and irresponsible in performing his work is vague. It is incumbent on the employer under the Standing Orders to give him sufficient particulars, which would enable him to give a proper explanation and to defend himself, properly. By this charge sheet, employee does not know on what days he slowed down, what is the norm that the employer expects, how he has fallen below that norm.

OPEN - Conduct Rules - References (open)

Andhra Pradesh Civil Services Conduct Rules

OPEN - CCA Rules - References (open)

CCA Rules

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