The very purpose of placing an employee under suspension is defeated if he is conveniently getting 50% of his salary as subsistence allowance without doing any work, due to delay on part of the officials in initiating disciplinary proceedings, the Madras high court judge R sureskumar has said.

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Purpose of suspending employee defeated if he draws salary: HC
Kaushik Kannan | TNN | Sep 3, 2020, 04:41 IST
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Madurai: The very purpose of placing an employee under suspension is defeated if he is conveniently getting 50% of his salary as subsistence allowance without doing any work, due to delay on part of the officials in initiating disciplinary proceedings, the Madras high court has said. The observation came as the court took a serious view of the delay on the part of the authorities in initiating proceedings against an employee who was suspended for failing to attend Covid-19 duty in Trichy district. Justice R Suresh Kumar observed that of late, it has become a practice among the authorities to place erring employees under suspension for months or years and even decades together in some cases. However, no disciplinary proceedings are initiated by issuing charge memo against such erring officials.

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The court was hearing a petition filed by P Poomani, who had challenged his suspension order issued by the district social welfare officer on April 10. The petitioner claimed that due to lack of transport facilities during the lockdown period, he was unable to attend office and hence sought to treat his period of absence on duty.
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Justice R Suresh Kumar observed that the petitioner is permanently residing at Perambalur district and used to attend the office by taking a bus which takes a total travel time of five hours everyday. The petitioner has not thought of shifting his residence to a nearer place to reach office early or in time. If the authorities speed up the disciplinary proceedings by issuance of charge memo and conduct inquiry and complete the same in the manner known to law, the wastage of money from government exchequer could be avoided. Since for more than four months, no further action against the petitioner in this case, the judge sought explanation from the district social welfare officer on the reasons for delay in initiating disciplinary proceedings against the petitioner.

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