Though the instructions provide that an officer will not be placed under
suspension before investigation, in practice frequent deviations are made.
Ground rules for ordering suspension of an officer are seldom followed.
Suspensions are mostly effected as a knee jerk reaction and is invariably behind
the back of the officer without giving him any hearing. In most cases the option of
transferring the officer instead is not even considered. Once the officer is placed
under suspension, there is virtually no review thereof. Review mechanism is
totally absent. Review is generally on the papers and in almost all the cases
reinstatement of the officer takes place only after the proceedings are concluded
and final order is passed. At the time of passing final order, the DA is niggardly in
his treatment of the suspension period. In case of arrest of an officer, there is
provision of deemed suspension after 48 hours of the arrest but there is no
simultaneous provision of a deemed reinstatement after he is acquitted. There
are different rules about payment of subsistence allowance in the government, in
the award staff within the banking industry and within the different banks.
The Disciplinary Authorities are too niggardly in the matter of treatment of
suspension period while passing final order. It has been seen that except in cases
where the officer has been exonerated, suspension period is treated as such
irrespective of the gravity of the penalty awarded and nothing more than the
subsistence allowance already paid is paid at the time of reinstatement which is
grossly unfair. Benefit of Annual increment also is not given even for calculation
of the subsistence allowance.
Ground rules of suspension must be meticulously followed. Suspension of an
officer prior to completion of investigation should not be effected. The option to
transfer the officer to a distant place instead of placing him under suspension
should be mandatorily considered as it is good for the officer as well as Bank. In
the rare case where suspension of an officer is the only choice, the officer should
be given an opportunity to show cause before placing him under suspension.
Review of suspension should be regular and meaningful. Suspension should
not be continued after investigation completed since the accused officer would
not then be in a position to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses.
In case, the bank or the Investigating agencies fail to serve the charge sheet within
the time stipulated in the Vigilance Manual or the proceedings are not concluded
within the given time frame the officer should be reinstated. In case of detention
beyond a given period or conviction by a Court, there is a provision for Deemed
suspension of the officer. Similar provision of deemed reinstatement needs to be
provided in cases where regular bail is granted or when the conviction is set
The rate of Subsistence Allowance should be uniform. For the first three months
half the salary and allowances should be paid and after six months, which is the
period provided for completion of proceedings, subsistence allowance equivalent
to full salary and allowances should be paid.
If the disciplinary proceedings conclude in the imposition of the minor penalty,
the suspension ought to be held as totally unjustified as already held by the
Hon’ble Supreme Court , and full back wages should be paid. The Committee
was of the view that barring the cases where the penalty awarded is cessation of
service, full salary for the suspension period should be paid as there is no
justification to continue suspension after the initial few months when
investigation is conducted.
Notional annual increment should be taken into account for the purpose of
calculating subsistence allowance and if salary revision is taking place during the
period of suspension, arrears should be paid for the period prior to date of
suspension and enhanced subsistence allowance from the date of suspension
should be paid.