POSH Alert | Dec 2019 : Conducting an Inquiry (Concluding Part)

In the previous segments of this three-part series, we shared with you the general guidelines for conducting an Inquiry and the rights and obligations of the Complainant and the Respondent.
In this concluding part, we would like to draw your attention to the non-negotiables during the Inquiry process and leave you with some of the ‘must dos’ as you continue to carry out your duties and obligations as the IC members of your company

The Internal Committee (IC) at all times should bear in mind the following aspects –

  1. Ensure that the complaint is submitted in writing or by electronic mail
  2. The Inquiry is conducted in accordance with the Principles of Natural Justice
  3. It is binding on the IC to ensure Confidentiality during the Inquiry process and to ensure that in the course of investigating a Complaint:
    1. Both parties are given reasonable opportunity to be heard along with witnesses and to produce any other relevant documents - corroborative material with a documentary proof, verbal or written material, etc.
    2. Upon completion of the Inquiry, both parties are informed of the findings of the investigation.
  4. No legal practitioner can represent any party at any stage of the inquiry procedure.
  5. The Inquiry shall be completed within a period of ninety days from the date of receipt of the Complaint.
  6. A copy of the Findings Report shall be provided to the Complainant and the Respondent, respectively, within ten days of completion of Inquiry.
  7. For the purpose of conducting an Inquiry, the IC is vested with powers as that of a Civil Court as per the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, including the following:
    1. Summon and enforce the attendance of any person and examining him / her on oath
    2. Require discovery and production of documents; and
    3. Any other matter which may be prescribed
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