MEMBERS OF PUNJAB LOCAL COUNCILS SERVICE
(EFFICIENCY AND DISCIPLINE)
[Gazette of Punjab, Extraordinary, Part I, 20th June, 2001]
No. SOV (IG) 1-30/81, dated 11-5-2000.-In exercise of the powers conferred upon him under subsection (4) of section 42(B) read with section 167 of Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 1979 (Revival of Law Act, 1997), the Governor of Punjab is pleased to make the following Rules namely:-
1. Short title, commencement and application.—(1) These Rules may be called the Members of Punjab Local Councils Service (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1999.
(2) They shall come into force at once and apply to all Members of Local Councils Service in the Punjab.
2. Definitions.— (1) In these Rules unless the context otherwise requires:-
(a) “Accused” means a member of Punjab Local Councils Service against whom action is taken under these Rules.
(b) “Authority” means the appointing authority or any officer or an authority designated by it to perform the functions of the authority under these Rules.
(c) “Enquiry Officer” means an officer appointed by the Authority to perform the functions of an Enquiry Officer under these Rules.
(d) “Enquiry Committee” means a group of officers (headed by a Convener) appointed by the Authority to perform the functions of Enquiry Committee under these Rules.
(e) “Misconduct” means conduct prejudicial to good order or service discipline or contrary to the provisions of such conduct rules as may be applicable to the members of the Punjab Local Councils Service, or conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentlemen and includes any act on the part of a member of the Punjab Local Councils Service, to bring or attempt to bring indirectly or other outside influence directly or indirectly to bear on the Governor, the Chief Minister, a Minister or any Government Officer in respect of any matter relating to the appointment, promotion, transfer, punishment, retirement or other conditions of service.
(f) “Penalty” means a penalty which may be imposed under these Rules.
(g) “Government” means the Government of Punjab.
(h) “Board” means the Punjab Local Government Board.
(i) “Chairman” means the Chairman of the Punjab Local Government Board.
(j) “Employee” means a member of the Punjab Local Council Service.
(2) In case two or more Members of Local Councils Service are to be proceeded against jointly, the authority for the Member of Local Councils Service senior-most in rank, shall be the authority in respect of all such accused.
(3) Words and expressions used but not defined shall bear the same meanings as they bear in the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 1979 or in the Punjab Local Councils Service (Appointment and Conditions of Service) Rules. 1983.
(4) Save in cases where Board is the Authority and notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Rule 2, where the authority would personally be interested in the result of the proceeding under these Rules it shall not proceed with the case and shall report the matter to the appellate authority to which the orders passed by “the authority” are ordinarily appealable and such appellate authority shall appoint and authorise another officer of the corresponding rank and status to act as the “authority”.
CHAPTER – II
3. Grounds for penalty.— A member of the service who—
(a) Is inefficient or has ceased to be efficient; or
(b) Is guilty of misconduct; or
(c) Is corrupt, or may reasonably be considered corrupt because–
(i) He is, or any of his dependents or any other person through him or on his behalf is in possession of pecuniary resources or of property disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he cannot, reasonably account for; or
(ii) He has assumed a style of living beyond his ostensible means; or (iii) he has a persistent reputation of being corrupt; or
(d) Is engaged, or is reasonably suspected of being engaged in subversive activities, or is reasonably suspected of being associated with others engaged in subversive activities or is guilty of disclosure of official secrets to any un-authorised person, and his retention in service is prejudicial to national security, shall be liable to be proceeded against under these Rules, and one or more of the penalties hereinafter mentioned may be imposed on him.
4. Penalties.- (l) The following are the penalties namely:
(a) Minor penalties-
(ii) Withholding, for a specific period, promotion or increment, otherwise that for unfitness for promotion or financial advancement in accordance with the Rules or orders pertaining to the service or post.
(b) Major penalties-
(i) Reduction to a lower post or pay scale or to a lower stage in a pay-scale;
(ii) Recovery of the whole or any part of any pecuniary loss caused to Government, Punjab Local Government Board or any Local Council by negligence or breach of orders;
(iii) Compulsory retirement;
(iv) Removal from service; and (v) dismissal from service.
(2) Removal from service does not, but dismissal from service does disqualify for future employment.
(3) In this rule removal or dismissal from service does not include discharge of a member-
(a) Appointed on probation, during the period of probation, or in accordance with the probation or training rules applicable to him; or
(b) Appointment, otherwise than under a contract, to hold a temporary appointment, on the expiration of the period of appointment; or
(c) Engaged under a contract, in accordance with the terms of the appointment.
CHAPTER – III
INQUIRY AND IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES
5. Initiation of proceedings.-(1) If, on the basis of its own knowledge or information placed before it, or where the Anti-Corruption Establishment under rule 15(l)(b) of the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment Rules, 1985 recommend, departmental action, the authority is of the opinion that there are sufficient grounds for action against the accused it shall either proceed itself or direct the Inquiry Officer/Inquiry Committee to proceed against said accused.
(2) In case the proceedings are to be initiated at the instance of a department/office or the Anti-Corruption Establishment, the draft charge-sheet, list of witnesses, and other relevant material shall be sent to the “Authority” before initiation of proceedings.
6. Procedure to be observed by the Authority.—(1) In a case where a member of Local Councils Service is accused of subversion, corruption or misconduct, he may be placed under suspension by the Authority or he may be required by the Authority to proceed on leave, provided that the continuation of the suspension or grant of any extension in leave shall require the prior approval of the Authority after every 3 months.
(2) The Authority, in the light of the acts of the case, shall decide whether in the interest of justice an inquiry is necessary.
(3) If the Authority decided that it is not necessary to have an inquiry conducted against the accused, it shall-
(a) Inform the accused forthwith by an order in writing of the action proposed to be taken in regard to him and the grounds of the action; and
(b) Give him a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against that action within a period of 14 days from the date of receipt of order under clause (a);
(c) The accused may make a representation to the authority against the summary procedure adopted against him, within seven days of the receipt of the orders. In case the representation is preferred the authority shall decide the same within seven days and communicate decision to the accused. In case of rejection of the representation, the accused shall be given seven days to show cause against the proposed action:
Provided that no such opportunity as is referred to in clauses (b) and (c) shall be given where, in the interest of the security of Pakistan or any pan thereof, it is not expedient to do so, the authority may proceed with the case but before denying the opportunity, the authority shall obtain prior approval of the appellate authority where the authority is not itself the Board.
(4) Within 7 days of the receipt of the explanation, if any of accused the authority shall determine whether the charges have been proved. If it is proposed to impose any of the penalties, mentioned in rule 4, the authority shall after affording the accused an opportunity of personal hearing against the proposed action, pass orders accordingly.
(5) If under sub-rule (2) or (3)(c) the authority considers that an inquiry is necessary it shall appoint an Inquiry Officer or an Inquiry Committee whose convenor shall be or a rank senior to that of the accused of it these are more than one accused senior to all the accused.
(6) Where an Inquiry Officer or an Inquiry Committee is appointed under sub-rule (5), the authority shall communicate necessary record to the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee enabling the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee to frame a charge and communicate it to the accused alongwith the list of witnesses/documents, if any, to be taken into consideration and require the accused, within a reasonable time which shall not be less than 7 days or more than 14 days from the day, the charge has been communicated to him, to put in a written defence before the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be.
(7) The authority-while sending the record shall appoint a Suitable officer to act as a departmental representative to assist the Inquiry Officer. The departmental representative shall be responsible for the following:-
(i) He shall assist the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee as the case may be on each day of hearing, as may be fixed by the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be. He shall be personally present fully prepared, with all the relevant material on which the charge-sheet is based.
(ii) He shall render all other assistance to the Inquiry ‘ Officer/Inquiry Committee during the inquiry proceedings against the accused.
(iii) He shall cross-examine the witnesses produced by the accused and also the prosecution witnesses in the event of their turning hostile, if so permitted by the Inquiry Officer/Inquiry Committee.
7. Procedure to be observed by the Inquiry Officer of Inquiry Committee.—(1) On receipt of the explanation of the accused or on the expiry of the stipulated period if there is no defence reply from the accused, the Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, shall inquire into the charges and may examine such oral or documentary evidence in support of. the charge or in defence of the accused as may be considered necessary and where any witness is produced by one party, the other party shall be entitled to cross-examine that witness.
(2) If the accused fails to furnish his explanation within the period specified, the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, shall proceed with the inquiry.
(3) The Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, shall hear the case from day to day and no adjournment shall be given except for reasons to he recorded in writing. However, every adjournment. with reasons therefor, shall be reported forthwith to the authority Normally. no adjournment shall be for more than a week.
(4) Where the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, is satisfied that the accused is appearing or attempting to hamper the progress of the inquiry, he or it shall administer a warning and it, thereafter, he or it is satisfied that the accused is acting in disregard of the warning, he or it shall record a finding to that effect and proceed to complete the inquiry in such manner as he or it thinks best suited to do substantial justice.
(5) If the accused absents himself from the inquiry on medical grounds he shall be deemed to have hampered or attempted to hamper the progress of the inquiry, unless medical leave, applied for by him, is sanctioned on the recommendation of a Medical Board, where, in view of the serious condition of the accused, it may not be possible for him to appear before the Medical Board, the Board shall examine him at his residence of which complete address must always be given in the leave application and at which he must be available:
Provided that the authority may, in its discretion, sanction medical leave up to seven days without the recommendation of the Medical Board.
(6) The Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, shall complete the inquiry proceedings within a period of sixty days, commencing from the last date of submission of the written defence by the accused or within such further period as may be allowed by the authority.
(7) (a) The Inquiry Officer/Inquiry Committee shall within 10 days of the conclusion of the proceedings, in terms of sub-rule (6) determine whether the charge has been proved, if it is proposed to impose a minor penalty, the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, shall, after affording the accused an opportunity of showing cause against the action proposed to be taken against him, pass order accordingly and inform the authority of the action taken by it and send the whole record of the case. The authority, if dissatisfied, with the quantum of the punishment, awarded to the accused or for any other reason may within 30 days of the receipt of the case, order initiation of de novo inquiry or it may enhance the penalty after affording the accused a chance of being heard in person. If no order is passed within the stipulated period the minor penalty awarded by the Inquiry Officer/Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, shall attain finality.
(b) If it is proposed to impose a major penalty, the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee shall, after affording the accused an opportunity 10 offer explanation against its recommendations for imposition of major penalty, forward the case to the authority alongwith the charge-sheet, served on the accused, explanation of the accused, the findings of the Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee, with its recommendations regarding the penalty to be imposed.
(c) In case it is proposed to drop the proceedings, the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee shall submit the case to the authority. The authority may, within a period of 15 days either accept the recommendations of the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be or it may order initiation of a de novo inquiry by passing a speaking order.
8. Appearance of Counsel.-No party to any proceeding under these Rules, before the Authority an Inquiry Officer, an Inquiry Committee or Appellate Authority shall be represented by a lawyer.
9. Expeditious disposal of proceedings.—(1) In a case where the authority decides not to have an inquiry conducted against the accused the proceeding must be finalized by him within a period of forty-five days.
(2) In a case where the authority has appointed an Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee, the Inquiry Officer/Inquiry Committee should ensure that the entire proceedings are completed within a period of ninety days from the date of receipt of direction under rule 5 and shall submit a report thereof to the authority.
(3) Where inquiry proceedings are not completed by the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, within the prescribed period, the Inquiry Officer or the Inquiry Committee, as the case may be, shall report, the position of the inquiry to the authority giving reasons why the inquiry could not be completed within that period and the approximate further time that is likely to be taken in the completion of the inquiry.
(4) The authority on receipt of report under sub-rules (2) and (3) shall pass such orders for expeditious finalization of the proceedings as it may deem fit.
10. In the case of any proceedings the record of which has been reported for orders under sub-rule 7(b) of rule 7, the authority may pass such orders as it deems fit but before imposing a major penalty the authority shall afford the accused an opportunity of being heard in person either before himself or before an officer senior in rank to the accused designated for the purpose, after taking into consideration the record of such personal bearing prepared by the officer so designated:
Provided that where the authority is satisfied that inquiry proceedings, have not been conducted in accordance with these rules or facts and merits of the case have been ignored, it may order initiation of de novo inquiry through a speaking order by giving the reasons thereof within a period of 14 days.
11. Certain Rules not to apply in certain cases.—(1) Where a member of LCS is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude which has led to a sentence of fine or imprisonment, he may, after being given a show-cause notice, be dismissed, removed from service or reduced in rank without following the procedure laid down in rules 5, 6, 7 and 10.
(2) Where the authority is satisfied, that for reasons to be recorded in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to give the accused an opportunity of showing cause it may impose any of the penalties under these Rules without following the procedure laid down in rules 5, 6, 7 and 10.
(3) Notwithstanding the other provisions of these Rules, where the authority is satisfied that one or more members individually or collectively have taken part in agitational and subversive activities, resorted to strike abandoned their official duty or incited others to do so, the authority may after serving upon them a notice through a publication in a daily newspaper or in any other manner, asking them to resume duty and on their failure or refusal to resume their duty impose upon the defaulting member the penalty of dismissal or removal from service without adopting the procedure as laid down in rules 5, 6, 7 and 10.
12. Procedure of inquiry against officers lent to other Governments, etc.-(l) Where the services of a member to whom these Rules apply are lent to any other Government or to a local or other authority, in these rules referred to as the borrowing authority, the borrowing authority shall have the power of authority for the purpose of placing him under suspension or requiring him to proceed on leave and of initiating proceedings against him under these rules:
Provided that the borrowing authority shall forthwith inform the authority which has lent his services, hereinafter in these rules referred to as the lending authority of the circumstances leading to the order of his suspension or the commencement of the proceedings, as the case may be:
Provided further that the borrowing authority shall obtain prior approval of the Board before taking any action under these rules against a member holding a post in Basic Pay Scale 16 or above and from the Commissioner for others who are in a lower pay scale.
(2) If, in the light of the finding in the proceedings taken against a member in term of sub-rule (1) above, the borrowing authority is of the opinion that any penalty should be imposed on him, it shall transmit to the lending authority the record or the proceedings and thereupon the lending authority shall take action as prescribed in these rules.
(3) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in sub-rules (1) and (2), the Board may, in respect of certain members or categories of members, authorise the borrowing authority to exercise all the powers of authority under these rules. .
13. Power to order Medical Examination as to mental or bodily infirmity.—(1) Where it is proposed to proceed against a member on the ground of inefficiency by reasons of infirmity of mind or body, the authority may, at any stage, whether or not an Enquiry Officer has been directed to proceed against him, require the member to undergo a medical examination by a Medical Board or a Medical Superintendent as the authority may direct and the report of the Board or the Medical Superintendent shall form part of the proceedings. —
(2) If a member refuses to undergo such an examination, his refusal may, subject to the consideration, of such grounds as he may give in support of it, be taken into consideration against him as showing that he had reason to believe that the result of the examination would prove unfavourable to him.
14. Powers of Inquiry Officer and Inquiry Committee.—(1) For the purpose of an inquiry under these rules, the Inquiry Officer and the Inquiry Committee shall have the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:—
(a) summonizing and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) requiring the discovery and production of document;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavits; and
(d) issuing commissions for the examination of witness or documents. .
(2) The proceedings under these rules, shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).
CHAPTER – IV
APPEALS, REVISIONS ETC.
15. Appeal against penalty.—Any member on whom a penalty has been imposed under these rules may within 30 days from the date of the communication of the order, appeal to such authority as may be prescribed:
Provided that if the Appellate Authority is satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for extending the lime it may entertain the appeal at any time:
Provided further that it shall not be necessary for the Appellate Authority afford the accused an opportunity to be heard in person except where the Appellate Authority proposes to increase the penalty, in which case he shall, by order in writing inform the accused of the action proposed to be taken and the grounds of the action and give him a reasonable opportunity 10 show cause against that action.
16. Petition of Appeal.—Every appeal preferred under these rules shall be made in the form of a petition, in writing, and shall set forth concisely the grounds of ‘objection to the order appealed from and shall not contain disrespectful or improper language and shall be filed with (he Authority or the Inquiry Officer who, as the case may, passed the original orders. The Authority or the Inquiry Officer, receiving the appeal, shall forward the same alongwith the comments within a fortnight, to the appellate authority.
17. Determination of appeal.—(1) The appellate authority shall cause notice to be given to the appellant and the authority or the Inquiry Officer imposing penalty, of the lime and place at which such appeal will be heard. The appellate authority shall send for the record of the case, if such record is not already with it. After perusing such record and hearing the appellant, if he appears, and the representative of the punishing authority if he appears, the appellate authority may, if it considers that there is no sufficient ground for interfering, dismiss the appeal or may—
(a) reverse the findings and acquit the accused; or
(b) order and direct that further or fresh inquiry be made; or
(c) alter the findings maintaining the penalty with or without altering the finding, reduce the penalty; or
(d) subject to the provisions of sub-rule (2) enhance the penalty:
Provided that the authority may, in its discretion designate any officer senior in rank to the accused, except the one against whose orders the appeal has been preferred, for the purpose of affording the appellant an opportunity of being heard in person and submit the case to the authority for final determination of the appeal.
(2) Where the appellate authority proposes to enhance the penalty, it shall :–
(i) By order in writing, inform the accused of the action proposed to be taken and the grounds of the action; and
(ii) Give him a reasonable opportunity to show cause against that action.
(3) In dealing with an appeal, the appellate authority, if it thinks additional evidence to be necessary, may either take such evidence itself or direct it to he taken by the Enquiry Officer and when such evidence has been taken the appellate authority shall thereupon proceed to dispose of the appeal.
18. Review and not appeal in certain cases.—Where the order has been passed by the Government, no appeal shall lie, and instead a review petition shall lie to the Government and it may in its discretion exercise any of the powers conferred on the appellate authority.
19. Revision.—(1) The Secretary, LG & RD Department may call for and examine the record of any proceeding before any authority for the purpose of satisfying as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any findings, penalty or order recorded or passed and as to the regularity of any proceedings of such authority.
(2) On examining any record under this rule, the Secretary, LG & RD Department may direct the authority to make further inquiry into the charges of which the accused has been acquitted and discharged and may in its discretion, exercise any of the powers conferred on an appellate authority:
Provided any order under this rule made prejudicial to the accused shall not be passed unless he has been given an opportunity to show cause against the proposed action:
Provided further that an order imposing punishment or exonerating the accused shall not be revised suo motu or otherwise after the lapse of a period of one year from the date of its communication to the accused except in case where appeal is preferred against the punishment.
(3) No proceeding by way of revision shall be entertained at the instance of the accused who has a right of appeal under these rules and has not brought the appeal.
20. Repeal.—(1) The Members of Punjab Local Councils Service (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1990 in their application to the Member of LCS to whom these rules apply are hereby repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the Members of Punjab Local Councils Service (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1990 hereinafter referred to in this sub-rule as the said rules:
(a) Subject to the provisions of Chapter IV of these rules, any departmental inquiry or proceedings pending immediately before the coming into force of these rules shall be completed and orders passed thereon as if. the said rules had not been repealed: and
(b) Any notification or instructions issued thereunder so far as they are not inconsistent with these rules shall be deemed to have been issued under these rules.
(3) Any person or authority, or the successor of the same authorised to exercise powers by virtue of a delegation made by the Government from time to time subsisting immediately before the commencement of these rules, shall to the extent of the powers delegated and so far as is not inconsistent with these rules, be deemed to be an authority designated under these rules.