Factors to Consider While Preparing Charge Sheet against Employee Charged for Misconduct

July 26, 2019
principles of natural justice

The charge sheet is one of the most important documents in proceeding against an employee charged with misconduct. It is a memorandum of charges which states the allegations levelled against the alleged workman and the act/ omissions of employee which correspond to it. It would be against the principles of natural justice in case a charge sheet is not prepared. This articles talks about the factors to be considered when preparing a charge sheet.
There is no set format in which a charge sheet should be drafted however, the following factors should be given due attention while drafting a charge sheet:

  1. The charge sheet should not be vague. The charges should not be framed in a very general way which may only give a basic idea to the inquiry official about the misconduct the employee is alleged with. It should be drafted in clear and unambiguous language so the alleged employee can understand his acts/ omissions which were at fault and the charges that are levelled in furtherance thereof.
  2. The relevant clause of the Company’s approved Standing Orders should be mentioned alongside each allegation wherever possible.
  3.  Wherein a charge is levelled which arises from acts or omissions in an incident, the charge sheet should describe the date, time and place of the incident.
  4. Wherein the allegations are arising from a written complaint, the same may be mentioned depending upon the circumstances.

It is very important that the above factors are duly considered when a charge sheet is prepared in order to ensure a fair domestic enquiry in furtherance thereof.

Further, it is also worth noting that in the case of Sur Enamel and Stamping works vs. Their Workmen[1] held that an enquiry cannot be said to have been properly conducted unless:-

  1. The employee proceeded against has been informed clearly of the charges leveled against him,
  2. The witnesses are examined-ordinarily in the presence of the employee-in Respect of the charges,
  3. The employee is given a fair opportunity to cross-examine witnesses,
  4. He is given a fair opportunity to examine witnesses including himself in His defense if he so wishes on any relevant matter, and
  5. The enquiry officer records his findings with reasons for the same in his report.

[1] 1964 SCR (3) 616

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