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Article 311 of the Constitution

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

Article 311 of the Constitution:


Context:

A suspended Maharashtra police officer has been dismissed from service by Mumbai Police Commissioner under Article 311 (2) (b) of the Indian Constitution without a departmental enquiry.

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.

Safeguards under Art. 311:

Article 311 is meant to act as a safeguard for civil servants that give them a chance to respond to the charges in an enquiry so that he/she is not arbitrarily dismissed from service.

The article also provides exceptions to these safeguards under subclause 2 provision b.

  • It states “when an 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 enquiry”.

Can the dismissal under section 311 (2) be challenged by the government employee?

Yes, the government employee dismissed under these provisions can approach either tribunal like the state administrative tribunal or the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) or the Courts.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Article 311 and subclauses.
  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.