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Governance

Article 311 of the Constitution

  • 13 May 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, a police officer was dismissed from the service by Mumbai Police Commissioner under Article 311(2)(b) of the Constitution without a departmental enquiry.

Key Points

  • Article 311:
    • Article 311 (1) says that no government employee either of an all India service or a state government shall be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to the own that appointed him/her.
    • Article 311 (2) says that no civil servant shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which s/he has been informed of the charges and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.
    • People Protected under Article 311: The members of
      • Civil service of the Union,
      • All India Service, and
      • Civil service of any State,
      • People who hold a civil post under the Union or any State.
      • The protective safeguards given under Article 311 are applicable only to civil servants, i.e. public officers. They are not available to defence personnel.
    • Exceptions to Article 311 (2):
      • 2 (a) - Where a person is dismissed or removed or reduced in rank on the ground of conduct which has led to his conviction on a criminal charge; or
      • 2 (b) - Where the authority empowered to dismiss or remove a person or to reduce him in rank is satisfied that for some reason, to be recorded by that authority in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry; or
      • 2 (c) - Where the President or the Governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedient to hold such inquiry.
  • Other Recent Case Related to Use of Article 311(2) Subsections:
    • Recently, the Jammu & Kashmir administration set up a Special Task Force (STF) to scrutinise cases of employees suspected of activities requiring action under Article 311(2)(c).
      • Three government employees, including two teachers, were fired using the Article.
  • Options to Dismissed Employee:
  • Other Related Constitutional Provisions:
    • Part XIV of the Constitution of India deals with Services under The Union and The State.
    • Article 309 empowers the Parliament and the State legislature to regulate the recruitment, and conditions of service of persons appointed, to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State respectively.
    • According to Article 310, except for the provisions provided by the Constitution, a civil servant of the Union works at the pleasure of the President and a civil servant under a State works at the pleasure of the Governor of that State (English doctrine of Pleasure).
      • But this power of the Government is not absolute.
    • Article 311 puts certain restrictions on the absolute power of the President or Governor for dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of an officer.

Source: IE

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