The purpose of a disciplinary proceeding by an employer is to enquire into an allegation of misconduct by an employee which results in a violation of service rules governing relationship of employment. Unlike a criminal prosecution, where charge has to be established beyond reasonable doubt, in a disciplinary proceeding, a charge of misconduct has to be established on a preponderance of probabilities. The rules of evidence which apply to a criminal trial are distinct from those which govern a disciplinary enquiry. The acquittal of accused in a criminal case does not debar employer from proceeding in exercise of disciplinary jurisdiction.
– Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, State of Karnataka v. Umesh, [Civil Appeal Nos. 1763-1764 of 2022].