What is Chargesheet?
The charge sheet is a written statement based on specific allegations to the alleged offender. It is a specific allegation of what is he is supposed or alleged to have done, which is not acceptable as per the code of conduct.
The main purpose of the charge sheet is to give the employee the exact idea of the misconduct committed by him so that he may submit his explanation in his defence.
The charge sheet should mention clearly the exact time, place of occurrence and the manner in which the incident alleged to have taken place to remove vagueness.
Things to remember while drafting charge sheet
- Charge Sheet must be specific. It must clearly inform the necessary particulars.
- It must accurately and specifically state the act of omission or commission is whether a violation of any Standing Order.
- A vague accusation, which the workman could not possibly follow, should not be made in the charge sheet.
- If the act of omission or commission, for which the delinquent employee being charge-sheeted, is previously committed by an employee or not should be mentioned in the charge sheet.
- It is imperative to hold a regular enquiry before terminating the services of a workman.
- The time, date of the incident should be mentioned to avoid vagueness.
- When a workman/employee is charge-sheeted for using objectionable language, then actual words used must be stated in the charge sheet.
- The language of the charge sheet must be clear. The unnecessary phrases and verbiage to be avoided.
As far as possible, the language must be simple and be one that commonly understood by the general public.
- It is better to use the term “about” in relation to the date and time of a particular incident of misconduct.
- In case of theft, it is necessary to mention full particulars of the goods or articles stolen.
- Charge sheet should not be issued with a biased and closed mind. It should not conclude the possible punishment.
- It must be signed by the competent authority.
- If the delinquent employee has a past record of repeating the same misconduct, the bad conduct must be clearly mentioned in it.
- In the case of habitual absenteeism, late attendance, disobedience, it must be mentioned in the charge sheet.
What Should not Contain in Charge Sheet?
The following things must not be in Charge Sheet.
1. The Charge-sheet should not assume that the delinquent employee is guilty
It must not assume that the guilt of the person and there should not be any indication of proposed punishment to be awarded.
2. It not to be repetitive or verbose
Any ambiguity, irrelevant and unnecessary matters should not be mentioned in it.
3. It should not indicate any punishment
It should be free from any bias and should not indicate any punishment. If done, it will be presumed that disciplinary authority has already closed his mind and decided the quantum of a punishment without giving a reasonable chance to the employee to prove his case.
4. It should not contain charge which is not in Standing Orders/Rules
To satisfy the requirement of the principle of natural justice, the alleged omission or commission of the act must fall under one or the other charge specified under Standing Orders/Rules. A delinquent employee can not be asked to defend an allegation which is not misconduct under the disciplinary rules of the organisation.
Who Can issue?
- Punishing Authority, if empowered. An employer can issue charge-sheet. It must be issued by the authority who is empowered. The empowerment needs to be written in Standing Order/Rules. It must be issued by punishing authority under his name and under his own designation and not by anyone else on his behalf.
- Appointing Authority. It can also be issued by appointing authority competent to take disciplinary action.
How to Serve?
The charge sheet should have issue number and date served on the employee by handing it over to him. It should obtain the signature/thumb impression on a copy of it. It must be done in the presence of a witness.
If a worker is illiterate, the content to be explained to him and this fact is to be recorded on a copy with the witness’s signature.
When the delinquent worker does not understand the language of it, a translation of it to be given in Hindi or in the local language.
If the employee refuses to accept the charge sheet, the fact is to be recorded in the presence of two witnesses and contains to be explained to him before witnesses. If done, it will be presumed that it has been served properly.
It is advisable that it shall be sent by Register Post with acknowledgement or by speed post.
In case, the employee residing in a staff quarter provided by the employer and refusing to take delivery of charge sheet shall be duly pasted on the wall of his accommodation in the presence of witnesses which will be treated as valid tender.
The mode of serving charge is generally given in Standing Orders/Rules of the establishment. When it complies with the Standing Order/Rules, it is sufficient to notice.