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Report No. 179

7.18 Procedure of Inquiry : [proposed section 5.-

The proposed 5 section requires that the disclosure with relevant documents be sent to the public servant concerned against whom complaint 98 is made and to his superior in the official hierarchy, giving reasonable opportunity. [proposed sub section (1)].

Proposed sub section (2) requires the inquiry 'not to be open to public' and that the 'names of the persons making the disclosure and of the public servant named in the disclosure" shall not be disclosed to the public. Proposed sub section (3) directs that the name of the person making the disclosure shall be disclosed to the public servant provided that, if the person making the disclosure requests that his identity should not be disclosed to the public servant named in the disclosure, and if the Competent authority is satisfied that such a request may be acceded to in public interest or the safety of such person, it shall make the necessary direction in that behalf after recording its reasons.

Sub-section (4) of the proposed section 5 requires that the competent authority shall be bound by the principle of natural justice and also by the other provisions of the Act and it shall have the power to regulate its own procedure including the fixing of places and times of its inquiry.

Sub-section (5) of proposed section 5 provides that if after conducting the inquiry, the competent authority is of the opinion that (a) the facts and allegations contained in the disclosure are frivolous or vexatious or are not made in good faith or (b) there are no sufficient grounds for proceedings 99 with the inquiry, it shall close the inquiry and inform the concerned persons, the reasons for its opinion.

Sub-section (6) of the proposed 5 provided that, if after conducting such inquiry, the competent authority is of the opinion that disclosable conduct is established against a public servant, (a) it shall, if such public servant is other than a Minister, record the appropriate finding and send its findings along with the relevant records, to the Authority competent to take disciplinary action against the public servant; and (b) it shall, if such public servant is a Minister, record the appropriate the findings and send its findings along with the relevant records, to the Prime Minister.

Sub-section (7) of the proposed section 5 states that upon receipt of the findings as stated in clauses (a) or (b) of sub-section (6), the authority referred therein shall take appropriate action immediately against the person named in the findings.

Sub-section (8) of the proposed section 5 states, if the inquiry held by the Competent Authority discloses conduct, which constitutes an offence punishable under any law, the Competent Authority shall direct the appropriate authority, or agency to initiate criminal proceedings against such public servant including the Minister in accordance with law. It is also proposed to be provided in the same sub-section that where the Competent 100 Authority directs as above, there is no need to obtain any sanction or prior approval for such prosecution under any law for the time being in force.

Sub-section (9) of the proposed section 5 states that the conduct of an inquiry under the Act in respect of any action shall not affect, such action or any power or duty of any public servant to take further action with respect to any matter subject to the inquiry in accordance with any law for the time being in force.



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