When can an employee be suspended pending Enquiry? Should it be paid or unpaid?
Suspension is not a punishment; rather, it is a decision of an administrative nature. Its sole intent is to prevent the offender from working in the office, and the employer alone has the authority to reverse the suspension order.
If the charge is significant or grave, the employee may also receive a suspension order in addition to the charge sheet. According to the Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act of 1946, if the delay in the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings is not the result of the worker's conduct, the suspended worker is to be paid a subsistence allowance equal to one-half of his wages for the first ninety days of suspension and three-fourths of wages for the remaining period of suspension.
What is grave will depend on the discretion of the management. It has to be decided in accordance with the Code Of Discipline.
During the suspension, the relationship between master and servant continues between the employer and the employee. However, the employee is forbidden to perform his official duties. Thus, a suspension order does not put an end to the service. Suspension means the action of debarring for the time being from a function or privilege or temporary deprivation of working in the office. In certain cases, the suspension may cause stigma even after exoneration in the departmental proceedings or acquittal by the Criminal Court, but it cannot be treated as a punishment even by any stretch of the imagination in the strict legal sense.