Major Teoh’s Blog

March 30, 2007

DI – Record of Proceedings

Filed under: DI - Record of Proceedings,Domestic Inquiry Roles — Major (Rtd) Teoh @ 4:57 pm

Domestic Inquiry – Record of Proceedings.  

The Industrial Court in making its comments on the records of proceeding made reference to Malhotra’s “Law of Industrial Disputes” Second Edition, Volume II, para 2 stating the following: 

“The whole object of holding a Domestic Inquiry against a delinquent workman is to enable the Inquiry Officer to decide upon the merits of the dispute before him and such Inquiries must conform to the basic requirements of natural justice and one of the essential requisites of a proceeding of this character is that when the inquiry is over the officer must consider the evidence and record his conclusions and reasons therefore.

A mere form of inquiry would not satisfy the requirements of industrial law and protect the disciplinary action taken by the employer from challenge. It would therefore, be wholly misconceived to think that once evidence is recorded, all that the employer is expected to do is to pass an order for dismissal which impliedly indicates that the employer accepted the view that the charges framed against the employee have been proved.”

 In the words of Gajendragadkar J., “if industrial adjudication attaches importance to the domestic inquiries and the conclusion reached at the end of such inquiries that necessarily postulates that the inquiry would be followed by a statement contain in the conclusion of the Inquiry Officer…..” On page 674 of the same book, 3rd line from the top reads ……. “The failure of the Inquiry Officer to record his findings and conclusions at the end of the inquiry would, therefore, constitute a serious infirmity in the inquiry itself which would render the inquiry invalid and the Tribunal would be justified to ignore the inquiry.” REF; AWARD NO 19/77 9FRASER & NEAVE (M) SDN. BHD. VS NATIONAL
UNION OF DRINK MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIAL WORKERS).

 The Panel of Inquiry is therefore expected to deliberate on the facts and evidence adduced during the inquiry in order to submit a concise report to the appropriate authority in the Company to facilitate decision making. As a guide for the panel in preparing the report of inquiry the following factors should be observed: 

  1. The report should be based on the documentary and oral evidence produced before the panel.
  2. There should not be any assumption on any issues which are not presented during the inquiry.
  3. Any points of agreements and disagreements among the panel members should be recorded and the reasons for such agreements or disagreement assigned.
  4. The report should be clear and precise.

The report of the domestic inquiry consists of the following: 

  1. The Charge (es).
  2. The facts of the case.
  3. The concise summary of the company’s case.
  4. The concise summary of the employee’s case.
  5. Points for determination in the inquiry. This must be clear and specific.
  6. Mitigating factors, if any.
  7. The findings by the panel.
  8. Recommendation of the panel.

Major Teoh

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