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Article 311(2)(C) of the Constitution

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Article 311(2)(C) of the Constitution:


Context:

The J&K government has constituted a Special Task Force (STF) for identifying and scrutinising the government employees who are involved in any cases related to posing threat to the security or anti-national activities.

  • STF will scrutinise cases of employees suspected of activities requiring action under Article 311(2)(C) of the Constitution.

Background:

The move comes as a number of government employees in the past were found expressing their political opinion in public space on the Kashmir conflict.

  • According to an official data, scores of employees were found involved in stone-pelting, participating in anti-India demonstrations and expressing anti-national sentiments on the social media during the five-month long agitation in 2016.

Under proviso (c) to Article 311 (2):

  • Where the President is satisfied that the retention of a person in public service is prejudicial to the security of the State, his services can be terminated without recourse to the normal procedure prescribed in Article 311 (2).
  • The satisfaction referred to in the proviso is the subjective satisfaction of the President about the expediency of not giving an opportunity to the employee concerned in the interest of the security of the State.
  • This clause does not require that reasons for the satisfaction should be recorded in writing. That indicates that the power given to the President is unfettered and cannot be made a justifiable issue, as that would amount to substituting the satisfaction of the court in place of the satisfaction of the President.

Is suspension or compulsory retirement a form of punishment?

  • The Supreme court in case of Bansh singh Vs State of Punjab clearly held that suspension from service is neither dismissal nor removal nor reduction in rank, therefore, if a Government servant is suspended he cannot claim the constitutional guarantee of Article 311.
  • In Shyam Lal Vs State of U.P Supreme Court held that compulsory retirement differ from dismissal and removal as it involves no penal consequences and also a government servant who is compulsory retired does not loose any part of benefit earned during the service so it doesn’t attract the provisions of Article 311.

Safeguards to civil servants:

Article 311(1) : It says that a civil servant cannot be dismissed or removed by any authority subordinate to the authority by which he was appointed.

Article 311(2): It says that a civil servant cannot be removed or dismissed or reduced in rank unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity to show cause against action proposed to be taken against him.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Article 311(2).
  2. Safeguards available to civil servants under the constitution.

Mains Link:

Write a note on safeguards provided to civil servants under the constitution.

Sources: the Hindu.