What Is Suspension In Service ?
“Suspension” is temporary deprivation of office and its privileges. A suspended person does not lose his /her office or his /her status of Position. His/her powers, functions and privileges remain in abeyance. Suspension does not amount to any lowering down or reduction of rank or status. The real impact is that though the employee continues to be Government servant but he/she is not permitted to work. The employee is paid only a ‘subsistence allowance’. This allowance is less than the salary and allowances to which he would have been entitled but for the suspension.
Effect and consequences of suspension –
Suspension is of a temporary duration. When the suspended officer is allowed to resume work the suspension comes to an end. The Government employee whose suspension comes to an end may be suspended again but it is not possible to say that the suspension will revive on the happening of some event. Where an order of suspension was passed without framing any charges and when it was challenged under Article 226 of the constitution of India and the High Court stayed the operation of the order, it was held that the result of this was that the employee stood reinstated.
Different Kind of Suspension –
Suspension is of two Kinds. An order of suspension may be passed:
(1) By way of punishment
(2) Suspension as an interim measure pending department action for any one of the penalties mentioned in rule 4 of the Punjab Civil Secretariat class II rule 1963.
When Order of suspension not followed by charge sheet within reasonable time –
It is unjust on the part of the authorities to pass an order of suspension and then not to take any further action. If the order of suspension is not followed by the charge sheet within a reasonable time the procedure adopted is bad. In this case it was held that an order of suspension cannot be passed with retrospective effect and if it was held that an order of suspension cannot be passed with retrospective effect and if it is so done the order giving retrospective effect would be quashed.
Where an officer had been kept under suspension for long time and it was detected belatedly that no departmental enquiry was contemplated then suspension could not continue and the employee would be entitled to reinstatement with full back wages.
Suspension can be passed when employee on leave –
A person who was a civil surgeon in the employment of state Government was allowed leave preparatory to retirement. This leave was subsequently cancelled and was called on duty for the purpose of enquiry and was simultaneously placed under suspension, pending the result of enquiry into charges of misconduct. It was held that the state government can revoke the leave and there is nothing illegal about it, the idea being that a civil servant remains in service until he reaches the age of superannuation or is removed or dismissed. While on leave, a civil servant retains a lien on his service. It is, therefore, within the competence of the government to issue simultaneous order of suspending a civil servant and also of revoking his leave.
Interim Suspension and Suspension as a penalty –
Suspension is of two kinds, Interim suspension and suspension as a penalty. Suspension of a servant during the pendency of an enquiry or pending criminal proceedings is called interim suspension.
Suspension After the departmental enquiry the public servant may be found guilty and penalty by way of suspension may be imposed.
When suspension is ordered on administrative grounds there is no element of punishment involved in it. It is something transitional or temporary. It is only a temporary deprivation of civil servant of his functions. It does not amount, to removal, reduction or lowering of status and hence Article 311 of constitution of India is not attracted and there is no necessity to make an enquiry before passing the order of suspension.
Article 311 does not apply to suspension –
Article 311 of the constitution of India is not applicable to suspension. The order of suspension is neither dismissal nor removal. It cannot be said that suspension and reduction in rank is one and the same thing. Article 311 of Constitution of India is not applicable to an order of suspension, as it is not reduction in rank. There would be nothing wrong in making the board statement that article 311 does not apply to suspension, Except where suspension operates as punishment there is no need to follow Article 311 before making an order of suspension.
An order of suspension is neither one of dismissal nor of removal within the meaning of Article 311 of the Constitution of India.