Report No. 179
5. Procedure of Inquiry.-
(1) Where the Competent Authority proposes to conduct an inquiry under sub-section (3) of section 4 , i.-
(a) shall forward a copy of the disclosure along with relevant documents and material, if any, to the public servant concerned and to his superior in the official hierarchy;
(b) shall afford to the public servant concerned an opportunity to offer his comments upon the disclosure and the accompanying documents and material, if any; and
(c) may make such orders as to the safe custody of documents and material relevant to the inquiry, as it deems fit.
(2) The inquiry by the Competent Authority shall not be open to public and the name of the public servant making the disclosure and the public servant named in the disclosure shall not be disclosed to the public.
(3) 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 necessary directions in that behalf after recording its reasons.
(4) The Competent Authority shall be bound by the principles of natural justice and subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Competent Authority shall have the power to regulate its own procedure including the fixing of places and times of its inquiry.
(5) If, after conducting an inquiry, the Competent Authority is of the opinion tha.-
(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 proceeding with the inquiry, it shall close the inquiry and inform the concerned persons, the reasons for its opinion.
(6) 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 findings and send its findings along with the relevant records, to the Authority competent to take disciplinary action against the public servant;
(b) it shall, if such public servant is a Minister, record the appropriate findings and send its findings along with the relevant records, to the Prime Minister.
(7) The authorities referred to in clauses (a) or (b) of sub-section (6), as the case may be, shall upon receipt of the findings under that sub-section, take appropriate action immediately against the person named in its findings.
(8) 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 a Minister in accordance with law: Provided that where such a direction is made, any requirement of sanction or prior approval for such prosecution under any law for the time being in force, shall not be necessary to be complied with.
(9) The conduct of an inquiry under this 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.