Civil services are known for the job security inherent to them. But from where does such job security arise? The answer is Article 311 of the Indian Constitution.

Safeguards derived from article 311

Article 311, though keeping the doctrine of pleasure exercised by the President or  the  Governor  or  any  person  authorized  on  the  behalf  of  the President  or  the  Governor  enshrined  in  Article  310  of  the  Constitution  of  India intact, but puts limitations on it. Hence, Article 311 puts two shackles on the exercise of the doctrine of pleasure. 

a.      Article 311 (1)- no member of a civil service of the Union or an all India service or a civil service of a State or holds a civil post under Union or a state shall be dismissed/removed by any authority subordinate to the appointing authority.

b.      Article 311(2)- no such person as above shall be dismissed/removed/reduced in rank without an inquiry where he is informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard for his defence to those charges.

Instances when departmental inquiry not necessary

Article 311 (2) subclause (a), (b) and (c) give exception to the general rule of right to inquiry. Clause (a) talks about if the government employee is convicted in a criminal case; clause (b) talks about situations wherein it is not practically possible to hold such inquiry; clause (c) talks about that if in the interest of the security of the state it is not expedient to hold such an enquiry.


Hence, it can be understood that Article 311 is a strong Constitutional safeguard which protects the rights of civil servants working in the Governmental service against any sort of arbitral dismissal, removal from such employment or reduction in rank. This sort of protection is vital because these civil servants are the main hands of the governmental departments, services, schemes etc. and ultimately the protection enables efficient and effective functioning of these departments, services, schemes, etc.


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