I was issued a show cause notice from HR. The charges framed were based on my supervisor's complaint and on the basis of preliminary committee report. I was not aware that there is any preliminary committee and there was any investigation going on against me, till the time i got the show cause notice from HR. After seeing the committee report, I could find out that it was an intentional, biased and only one sided report (in favour of complainant). I have proofs to justify that the committee has not written the facts instead only wrote what they felt which would fit to penalize me without having any evidences. Although I have replied to the show cause notice and now its almost one month time, the management has not responded. I am being mentally harassed. If I file a case against the organisation for defaming my image and for mental harassment, do they have right to suspend/terminate me on this ground (of filing a case against them). Please suggest.
From India, Samastipur
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
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Nagarkar Vinayak L
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Dear member,
You were given show cause notice, for which you have given reply. Against this backdrop, it is better to wait and watch for the decision of the top management. Who knows that it may go in your favour too! Yes, these are trying times for you and wait for the verdict is painful, yet I recommend you exercising patience.
You say that on receiving complaint from your superior, a "Preliminary Committee" investigated the matter. However, you were not called to depose before the committee. In that case, the committee report is vitiated.
Notwithstanding malfunctioning of the preliminary committee, I recommend not filing suit against your PSU. From the long-term career point of view, it is better to reconcile and move on. However, if the top management awards you the punishment, then you can challenge the punishment in the court where cases of PSU employees are handled.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Thanks Sir for your suggestion. I have got some information through my friends that the management will suspend me by saying that your response is not acceptable and a disciplinary inquiry would be done. I am afraid that if I am suspended, I will not get any pay as per the employee manual and I will face lots of financial problems. I have got personal loan, housing loan, rent, school fees for children, medicines cost for my old aged parents and other house hold expenses. I will deeply be in trouble. Some of my friends suggested me to file a complaint in the court and ask for justice and the court might hold the suspension orders till proper inquiry is done and completed. Sir what do you suggest in this case. What should I do?
From India, Samastipur

How reliable is this grapevine news?
You have many commitments and cannot afford to take hasty decisions.
If as you say are not guilty, then stop worrying.
You cannot be punished unless the PSU gives you chance of placing your statement and documents on record.
Court case at this stage is hasty and courts may not give you relief of quashing proceedings etc.
Pl think over coolly and consult a lawyer for good practical and detail based advice.
What were the specific points of SC notice and what was your reply?

From India, Pune
The poster should understand first that preliminary inquiry or discreet inquiry is the investigation conducted behind the back of an employee when some complaint is received against him to ascertain the prima facie of the complaint. Therefore, there is no necessity of involving the employee or informing him in this regard while such discreet inquiry is conducted.
If the discreet inquiry indicates the prima facie of the complaint, then show-cause notice is issued by the Disciplinary Authority framing the charges of misconduct under the Standing Orders or Service Regulations applicable. If the reply submitted by the delinquent is not acceptable, then a domestic/departmental inquiry is ordered and conducted into the charges leveled affording all the opportunities to the delinquent to defend himself.
Just because there is no response from the management even after one month, the employee can not cast any aspersions as described in his original post. When he is not placed under suspension pending inquiry, he can not complain against the delay. Even if you are suspended, the Management has to pay subsistence allowance as per rules till the suspension is revoked: they can not keep you under suspension indefinitely. Also it is not necessary that every charge-sheeted employee facing domestic inquiry should be placed under suspension either. Therefore, no qualms or unnecessary worries about it. Your mental agony due to your imagination can not be a valid reason to sue the management when they initiate disciplinary action against you under the contract of employment. So, it is the duty of the poster to participate in the inquiry and prove his innocence when it is conducted.

From India, Salem
Dear Mr Umakanthan M,
Thanks for elucidating the difference between "discreet enquiry" and "domestic enquiry". I was under the impression that for each enquiry, the Enquiry Officer must call the accused.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear colleague,
You are at a stage where there is no cause for any action against the company yet. You have replied to the SC and one month has passed and no action is yet taken by the company.
Your grapevine tells that you might be suspended. Remember, to suspend any employee pending domestic enquiry for ' serious ' charges is a right of the employer under Standing Orders /Service rules. At the same time , the employer is under obligation to pay subsistence allowance during such suspension as rightly pointed out.
You show patience and wait for management's action.
You are required to be served with the charge sheet following an order of suspension pending enquiry. TheIf the charges contained are not grave and serious and yet you are suspended pending enquiry, you can challenge the suspension being unjustified and illegal and damand the same to be revoked. Generally, suspension is imposed when it is feared that the chargesheeted employee is likely to tamper with management's evidence or threaten/ influence management's witnesses.
But you had also stated that you are being framed under fabricated charges and you have strong evidence to prove it. In that case why should you fear the domestic enquiry?.
Though uncomfortable,go through it and prove your innocence.
All above is to be thought of as a consequence to management's further action no action except to wait and watch is called for for now.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant.

From India, Mumbai
Dear All,
Thanks you so much for your advice with details information. I know that I have not done anything wrong so I will wait for the management to respond. But Since my supervisor and the country director are from senior management and are good friends, they are acting very smartly, they are asking people for resignation who are my prime witness and could speak the truth if I ask them to do so, But now the fear is coming in my mind is that now since those people are leaving and have also left the organisation, how they will help me in front of management. The management might not call them or hear their voice on my matter.
Although I am coming to office regularly but not doing anywork. My work has been allocated to other persons in my department and other department by my supervisor. The management/HR has not given me any such notice/mail for allocating my work to others till the time my matter is closed. All these are happening in front of me and no one from my department and other staff in the office are talking to me or discussing any thing. Only few persons who really knows me talk but in a limited way. Staff are afraid that they might loose their jobs if they are seen talking/discussing with me.
Sir, Looking for some guidance in this regard.. what should be my step or precautions which will help me further.

From India, Samastipur
As it has been advised by Mr.Divekar, show patience .
Discreet inquiry has no legal standing.
Yes, the management , can issue a show cause notice , even without an inquiry as this does not tantamount to any punishment.
Even suspension, if it comes to that, is not a punishment .Though the suspended employee does undergo mental harassment as well as financial hardship.
Wait for the response to your reply.Hope, you took assistance from some one in framing the reply.
All the best.
Col.Suresh Rathi

From India, Delhi
Dear Member,
Mr Umakantham M has given you the most relevant and accurate advice in the matter. Establishment of the Prima Facie is the independent prerogative of the organization whether by a committee coined for the purpose or by a higher functionary in your chain of reporting.
After this stage is the issuance of the SC wherein the jist of accusations against you will in times to come form the charges in the formal charge sheet as also these will be the terms of reference for the Oral/Domestic/Departmental inquiry. ( All different names of the same thing)
Please remember the power to put an employee on suspension is vested with the management and can not be challenged through any court etc. Your best bet here is through a union or works committee member if someone is close to you and is influential with the management as well. The organization (PSU) is only obliged to leave subsistence allowance for you and curtail your balance of the emoluments, they are immune and indifferent to your personal financial obligations.
Also remember that convening of an Oral inquiry is a must in case the disciplinary authority is of the view (based on strength of prima facie) that the Oral inquiry will provide enough basis for charges resulting in award of major penalties, however, in case of award of minor penalties many a times an oral inquiry is done away with.
Your last post enumerating your social isolation, allotment of your work role to some one else is indicative of the firm resolve of the management to proceed against you with an intent to administer an appropriate disciplinary action in an apt manner against you.
In so far as the evidence in your favour is concerned the attendance of personnel (I assume they have moved to some other Govt organization only) can be sought by you during the oral inquiry and has to be arranged for you. Youe best short here is to gather Documentary evidence of that period which can prove your point and will thus become an irrefutable defense.
Till then all the best.

From India, Delhi

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