Whether CE can take assistance of an advocate as DR in the departmental inquiry?
The term ‘departmental inquiry’ indicates that it is an internal matter of the organization. The constituents are expected to discharge their duties and responsibilities through inquiry proceedings as per service rules or standing orders that always laid down the norms and procedure to be adopted for conducting departmental inquiry proceedings. The CE has a right to take assistance of a DR, which is normally a colleague of the CE or representative of the union/association to which CE is a member, as sought by the CE. There are certain service rules for taking assistance of a DR in departmental inquiry within the organization.
As regards taking assistance of an outsider or an advocate is concerned, there is generally no provision to take assistance of such outsider in normal circumstances. However, in case the management or the DA appoints an advocate to present the case on behalf of the management, the CE has a right to have the assistance of an advocate on the principle of equity and fair play. Even where the PO is a law graduate, the CE can demand permission for availing the services of an advocate as DR. However, in other circumstances management may deny availing of services of an advocate as DR.
With best wishes,
Keshav Ram Singhal
IO = Inquiry Officer / Enquiry Officer / Inquiring Authority
PO = Presenting Officer
DR = Defence Representative
CE = Charged Employee / Charged Officer
DA = Disciplinary Authority
AA = Appellate Authority