The Public Servants (Inquiries) Act,1850

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The Public Servants (Inquiries) Act has been incorporated on 1st November, 1850. This Act has been established to streamline inquiries into the behavior of Public Servant. This Act also framed the maneuver to amend the Law in regulation of the above by making them to get sanction from Government before removal and to make unanimous uniforms throughout India.

The Indian Dominion Public Servants during the British Period, who were holding a higher position, were ruling like an autocrat. Their behaviors were not appreciated by the Government and they passed several legislations to control such behavior but were of no use. Later, inorder to have a strict measure they intended to legislate this Act.

In case if the Government thinks fit to make such autocratic Public Servant into formal public inquiry, he creates the materials of implications to make into a separate material of charge an may Order a formal inquiry to be made into truth.

This Formal public enquiry shall be conducted by the competent authorities such as Court, Board to whom the person stood as an accused or subordinate to or to other person appointed especially for such inquiry by the Government. The Commissioner be appointed atleast ten days before the inquiry to take over such person as accused.

In case of accusing a person, the accusing party must reduce it in writing and be asked to take an affirmation for such accusation to the Government. In case if any false accusation found by the Government, then such accusing party shall be penalized for perjury.

In Case of any implications made by the Accuser, if the Government thinks fit shall make such Accuser to prosecute such public servant. Inorder to receive the power of Prosecution, the Accuser has to submit certain security and oath to prosecute at best of its knowledge in an efficient manner. The Government shall at anytime revoke the power of prosecution if it deems fit.

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The Commissioner who is appointed by the Government shall have the power to prosecute and punish on contempts, obstructions and such other matter as that of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. He holds the right to summon any person, produce any documents in relation to the matter and any other duties as that of a Court. The Commissioner shall also have the power of handling Commission cases if delegated. In case if anybody disobeys or violate any lawful process in handling Commission, then he shall be punished based on Civil Courts and such other authority as may be concerned.

Before the date of inquiry within three days before itself a copies of Articles of Charges and list of documents, witness, etc, upon which such person shall be prosecuted will be given. The Commissioner or a prosecutor shall also be provided with the articles of charges, list of witness, documents, etc, before inquiry. Later the prosecutor will read the charges framed on such public servant and make him to prove his innocence, etc, if he is not present or not argue during the inquiry then he shall be considered as a convict.

While inquiry, all the forms of evidence has been displayed and even witnessed are also examined on behalf of the prosecutors and in case of any re-examination or cross examination it has also been done. Three days adjournment shall be given for producing new evidence. In case of any defense from the accused, it should be in writing and a copy is served to the prosecutor.

 If the accused defense has been over then the prosecution may finalise the case. At this time there won’t be any adjournment to the accused. In case if the Commissioner found that there was no clarity or the articles of charge needs amendments, he shall by application to the prosecutors and intimation to the accused take reasonable adjournments of inquiry. After the inquiry was over the Commissioner shall inform to the Government either by producing the records of the matters prosecuted or in any way mentioned in this Act.

This Act has been repealed by the Repealing Act, 1970, Section 1 and Sch., Part II. No Act shall be repealed that are in force to dismiss of principal and other Officers, but Commission may be issued for trial against them under this Act. No Act shall restrict the Government in removal of Public Servant for any reason without any inquiry.

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by C.Srivenkatesh Prabhu.