SEALED COVER PROCEDURE – the disciplinary proceedings commence only when a charge sheet is issued. Departmental proceeding is normally said to be initiated only when a charge sheet is issued. The pendency of preliminary investigation prior to that stage will not be sufficient to enable the authorities to adopt the sealed cover procedure. – [ the date on which the respondent’s batch mates were promoted to IRAS, neither any criminal proceedings was initiated against him nor any departmental enquiry was initiated, nor any charge sheet was served upon him and nor he was placed under suspension.]
What is sealed cover procedure?
It is the Procedure and guidelines to be followed when:
Promotion of Government servants against whom disciplinary/court proceedings are pending or whose conduct is under investigation.
As per the rules applicable, the “sealed cover procedure” is adopted when an employee is due for promotion, increment etc. but disciplinary/criminal proceedings are pending against him at the relevant time and hence, the findings of his entitlement to the benefit are kept in a sealed cover to be opened after the proceedings in question are over.
“27. There can be no quarrel with the settled legal proposition that the disciplinary proceedings commence only when a charge-sheet is issued to the delinquent employee. (Vide Union of India etc. etc. Vs. K.V. Jankiraman, etc. etc. ‘, (1991) 4 SCC 109 and UCO Bank and Anr. Vs. Rajinder Lal Capoor ‘ (2007) 6 SCC 694)”
Para 17: in the light of the fact that no charge sheet was served on the respondent-employee when the DPC met to consider his promotion, yet the sealed cover procedure was adopted. In such circumstances, this Court held that “the Tribunal has rightly directed the authorities to open the sealed cover and if the respondent was found fit for promotion by the DPC, to give him the promotion from the date of his immediate junior Shri M. Raja Rao was promoted pursuant to the order dated April 30, 1986. The Tribunal has also directed the authorities to grant to the respondent all the consequential benefits…..We see no reason to interfere with this order.
For more details kindly refer: The Union of India And Ors. Vs. Anil Kumar Sarkar’ [Dated: March 15, 2013] [Court: Supreme]