(Online Course) Pub Ad for IAS Mains: Civil Services: Code of Conduct and Discipline (Paper -2)

(Online Course) Public Administration for IAS Mains Exams

Topic: Civil Services: Code of Conduct and Discipline

Some of the salient features of the Conduct Rules in India.

1. No government employee can engage in private trade or take up private employment without the previous sanction of the government except in respect of the literary, scientific, artistic, social or charitable work. Even this should be of occasional nature and should not interfere with the government work.

2. No government employee should make investments a highly speculative nature. He should not lend or borrow from anyone without the previous sanction government, except for small interest-free loans from close relatives and personal friends. Lending borrowing with any person having official dealing with the government employee are completely prohibit

3. Every government employee is expected to conduct his financial affairs in such a manner to avoid habitual indebtedness or insolvency.

4. No government employee can purchase or sell movable or immovable property above a particular value without the sanction of the government some cases the government has only to be informed.

5. No government employee should ask for subscriptions for any organization.

6. No government servant is expected to accept any gift which is not of trifling value with the previous sanction of the government. The only exception is about receiving the gifts of reasonable value on some customary occasions from close relations or friends.

7. No government servant can give any interviews to radio, television, press, etc. nor shall he issue any public statement except in respect of literary, scientific and artistic matters. He should not say anything which is likely to embarass the government.

8. The only political activity in which a government servant can take part is to exercise his right of vote, that too in a confidential manner. He can neither seek elections to any legislature or a local body nor can he take part in any election activities like canvassing, distributing of pamphlets etc.

9. Every government servant has to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty at all times.

10. No government servant is supposed to indulge in any act which is unbecoming of a government servant. This is an omnibus rule to take care of the official, private and domestic conduct of government servants.

Disciplinary Action

When conduct rules are violated, disciplinary action is to be taken. It usually means some kind of punishment meted out to government servant for the violation of these conduct rules. Punishment may be of two types:

(i) Informal Punishment: It is more in the nature of repimand and counselling. This type of Punishment is resorted to where the Violation of conduct rules is of a very minor nature and when it is difficult to prove the guilt of the employee.

(ii) Formal Punishment: This is a more serious sort of punishment. This has got to be in writing and the guilt of the employee has to be established. Some documentary or oral evidence has to be of record towards any kind of formal punishment.

(a) Minor Punishment: Censure, withholding of increments, Withholding of promotions, Recovery of loss of Government properties.
(b) Major Punishment: Reduction in rank, Removal, Dismissal, Compulsory retirement.

Purpose of Punishment

In case of the Government employee the punishment could have any of the following purpose:

(i) Reformatory: The punishment is supposed to give a lesson to the employee not to repeat the same mistake in future.
(ii) Deterrent: If an employee goes unpunished for is mistakes, others may also become careless.
(iii) Retributory: For bonafide mistakes the Government may ignore the loss. However, in case of gross negligence the Government may require the loss to be made good. To that extent the punishment is retributory in nature.

In Government organizations the main purpose of the punishment is deterrent. In extreme cases the Government has to resort to penalties like removal and dismissal. In such cases the reformatory and retributive aspects become less important than the deterrent one.


The basic provisions for dealing with the disciplinary matters concerning the Government employees are derived from Articles 311 of the Constitution which lays down that:

(a) No member of the Civil Service will be removed or dismissed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed.
(b) The cause for which action is being taken must be recorded in writing by the officer concerned.
(c) No person shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank until he has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the action proposed to be taken in regard to him.

In minor penalties the procedure is a more detailed and comprehensive one and in many stages:

(a) A charge sheet along with a statement of allegations has to be served to the employee. This has to comprise detailed statements containing explanations for each article of charge along with a list of documents and witnesses who are to be relied upon to prove the charges:
(b) The employee has a right to submit his explanation on the charge-sheet. For this purpose he has to be shown all relevant documents and files concerning all the articles of the changes:
(c) After considering the charge-sheet, statement of allegations and explanation of the employee, disciplinary authority has to record a finding whether there is a prima facie case to start an enquiry or whether the case is to be dropped.
(d) If the disciplinary authority comes to the conclusion that an enquiry has to be conducted then it appoints an enquiry authority and directs the delinquent officer to present his case before that enquiry officer. He may also appoint a presenting officer to present the case before the Enquiry Officers.
(e) The Enquiry Officer records the statement of defence of the employee and records the evidence of the prosecution witnesses. The delinquent official has a right to cross examine these witnesses.
(f) The delinquent officer can then produce his witnesses which then can be cross-examined the Enquiry Officer or the presenting officer.
(g) The Enquiry Officer hears the delinquent official and gives him an opportunity to file his written statement of account.
(h) Giving due considerations to all the material on record, the Enquiry Officer prepares his report, About each article of charge he has to record his finding whether it is proved or not proved.
(i) The disciplinary authority then considers the report of the Enquiry Officers and then records his own finding on each article of charge. He then makes available to the delinquent official a copy of the report of the Enquiry Officer, and the statement of his own findings asking him to show cause against the proposed penalty.
(j) If consultation with the Public Service Commission is necessary, the disciplinary authority makes such a consultation.
(k) After considering the entire material on record including the reply of the delinquent official and advice of the Public Service Commission, the Disciplinary Authority passes an order imposing such penalty as he deems fit.

Right to Appeal

All the officers who are appointed in Central government by an authority subordinate to the President have a right to appeal to a specified authority. Those who are appointed by the President himself have no right to appeal, similarly in the case state governments, the officers appointed by an authority subordinate to the Governor have a right appeal to a specified authority. Those appointed by the Governor have no right to appeal. The appellate authority may uphold, set aside or modify the order of the Disciplinary Authority or remand the case for further enquiry.

An appeal can be withheld by the disciplinary authority for following reasons:

(a) If it is time barred;
(b) If it is against the rules;
(c) If it is not in the proper form and does not contain the requisite information and documents
(d) If it is a repetition of previous appeals which have been rejected.

Regarding the disciplinary proceedings the employees complain that:

(a) The disciplinary proceedings are weighted against them because they are all along handled by departmental officers;
(b) Even the right of appeal does not have much value because the appeal are also handled by the officers of the same department;’
(c) The appeals are withheld very often without proper reasons;
(d) At all levels there is a great delay in proceedings.

For Full Material Join Public Administration Online Coaching

Buy Printed Study Kit for Public Administration for IAS Mains Exams

<< Go Back to Main Page