In pursuance of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and the Rules framed there under, SYVNS hereby adopts the following procedure for determining complaints filed to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) constituted under the Act. The procedure complies with the basic principles of natural justice and fair play and has to be adhered to in all complaints, though, in individual complaints, for reasons to be stated in writing, the ICC reserves the right to make exceptions to the procedure stated hereunder.
1. Any aggrieved person may make, in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the ICC, within a period of three months from
the date of incident and in case of a series of incidents, within a period of three months from the date of last incident. 6 copies of a written complaint should be submitted to the Committee or any of its members along with list of witnesses and supporting documents. Additional documents and list of witnesses can be submitted to ICC at a later stage during the proceeding. Provided that where such complaint cannot be made in writing, the Presiding Officer or any other member of the ICC shall render all reasonable assistance to the person for making the complaint in writing. Provided further that the ICC for the reasons to be recorded in writing, can extend the time limit not exceeding three months, if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the person from filing a complaint within the said period.
2. Any complaint received by the members should be immediately forwarded to the Presiding Officer, and this must be notified to other committee members at the earliest and not later than 3 days and a meeting should be called for discussing the matter.
3. The ICC shall discuss and decide on its jurisdiction to deal with the case or reject the complaint prima facie and recommend to SYVDA that no action is required to be taken in the matter.
4. Notice shall be issued to the respondent within 7 working days of receipt of the complaint and 10 working days shall be given for submission of reply (along with the list of witnesses and documents).
5. The ICC will provide assistance to the aggrieved person, if he/she so chooses, to file a police complaint in relation to an offence under the
Indian Penal Code.
6. The ICC may, before initiating an inquiry, at the request of the aggrieved person, take steps to settle the matter between him/her and the
respondent through conciliation.
7. No monetary settlement shall be made as the basis of conciliation. Where a settlement has been arrived at, the ICC shall record the settlement so arrived and forward the same to the Organisation for necessary compliance.
8. The ICC shall provide the copies of the settlement as recorded under (7) to the aggrieved person and the respondent. Where a settlement is arrived at, no further enquiry shall be conducted by the ICC.
9. If conciliation is found to be not feasible, notice will be issued to both parties for hearing.
10. The ICC may direct the Organisation to ensure safety and protection of the aggrieved person if and when required.
11. As an interim measure, ICC may recommend
- The transfer of the aggrieved person or the respondent to another section or Department as deemed fit by the ICC
- Grant leave to the aggrieved person up to a period of three months or;
- Restrain the respondent from exercising any administrative authority or supervision or academic evaluation of the aggrieved person
- Grant such other relief to the aggrieved person as the case may require.
12. The ICC shall proceed to make inquiry into the complaint in accordance with the provisions of the service rules applicable to the respondent
considering sexual harassment as misconduct.
13. The Presiding Officer shall convene the first hearing of the inquiry. The respondent, the aggrieved person and the witnesses shall be intimated atleast 7 working days in advance in writing of the date, time and venue of the enquiry proceedings. The subsequent proceedings may be conducted on a day to day basis, to be decided by ICC.
14. The ICC shall provide reasonable opportunity to the aggrieved person and the respondent for presenting and defending her/his case.
15. The ICC may at any time during the enquiry proceedings, preclude the face to face examination of the respondent and the aggrieved person
and/or their witnesses keeping in view the need to protect the aggrieved person or the witnesses from facing any serious health and/or safety problems.
16. The ICC may call any person to appear as a witness if it is on the opinion that it shall be in the interest of justice. The aggrieved person/respondent has to submit the written reply before the committee within the specified time given.
17. The ICC shall have the right to summon, as many times as required, the respondent, aggrieved person and/or any witnesses for the purpose of supplementary testimony and/or clarifications.
18. The ICC shall have the power to summon any official papers or documents pertaining to the aggrieved person as well as the respondent.
19. The past sexual history of the aggrieved person shall not be probed into as such information shall be deemed irrelevant to a complaint of a sexual harassment.
20. The ICC shall have the right to terminate the enquiry proceedings and to give an ex-party decision on the complaint, should the respondent fail , without valid ground, to be present for three consecutive hearings convened by the Presiding Officer.
21. The aggrieved person and the respondent, or any one person on her/his behalf, shall have the right to examine written transcripts of the recordings with the exclusion of witnesses’ names and identifies. No person who has been found guilty of the sexual harassment shall be accepted as a nominee. The aggrieved person/respondent should inform the Presiding Officer specifically if they wish to exercise this right. The Presiding Officer shall allow access to such documents on a specific date to be intimated at least two days in advance to each of the parties concerned. At no point in time, however, can the concerned parties take these documents outside the office.
22. The aggrieved person and the respondent shall be responsible for presenting their witnesses before the committee. However, if the ICC is
convinced that the absence of either of the parties to the dispute is on valid grounds, the ICC shall adjourn that particular meeting of the ICC for a period not exceeding five days. The meeting so adjourned shall be conducted thereafter, even if the person concerned fails to appear for the said adjourned meeting without prior intimation/valid ground.
23. All proceedings of the ICC shall be recorded in writing. The record of the proceedings and the statement of witnesses shall be endorsed by the persons concerned as well as the committee members present in token authenticity thereof. In case the minutes cannot be reduced in writing the same day, an audio recording of the proceedings may be made, and the written proceedings will be authenticated on a next available opportunity.
24. If the aggrieved person desires to tender any documents by way of evidence, the ICC can supply true copies of such documents to the
respondent. Similarly, if the respondent desires to tender any documents in evidence, the ICC shall supply true copies of such documents to the
25. In the event the ICC thinks that supplementary testimony is required, the Presiding Officer shall forward to the persons concerned a summary of the proceedings and allow for a time period of seven days to submit such testimony, in person or in writing, to the ICC.
26. The aggrieved person and the respondent shall have the right of cross- examination of all witnesses. However, such cross-examination shall be conducted in the form of written questions and responses via the ICC only. The respondent shall have no right to directly cross examine the aggrieved person or his/her witnesses.
27. The respondent/aggrieved person may submit to the ICC, a written list of questions that he/she desires to pose to the aggrieved person/witness. The ICC shall retain the right to disallow any questions that it has reasons to believe to be irrelevant, mischievous, slanderous, derogatory or gender- insensitive.
28. Amicus curie can be called for helping the committee if and when required.
29. After concluding its investigation, the ICC shall submit a detailed reasoned report to SYVNS.
30. If the ICC finds no merit in the allegations, it shall report to SYVNS.
31. In the event the ICC finds that the allegation(s) against the respondent have been proved, it shall recommend the nature of action to be taken by SYVNS. The following actions may be recommended:
- A written apology
- Reprimand or censure
- Withholding of promotion
- Withholding of pay rise or increments
- Undergoing a counselling session
- Carrying out of community service
- Terminating the respondent from service
- Any other punishment according to the service rules applicable to the respondent
32. When the ICC arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent is malicious or the aggrieved person or any other person
making the complaint has made the complaint knowing it to be false or the aggrieved person or any other person making the complaint has produced any forged or misleading document, it may be recommended to SYVNS to take action against such falsification.
33. Nothing precludes the Organisation’s authority from taking cognizance of any new fact or evidence which may arise or be brought before it during the pendency of the inquiry proceedings or even after the communication of the findings to appropriate SYVNS authorities.
34. If the allegation(s) is/are proved against the respondent, the ICC may direct SYVNS to ensure the payment of compensation to the aggrieved person by the respondent. The determination of compensation to the aggrieved person shall be decided based on the following facts:
- The mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to the aggrieved person
- The loss of career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment
- Medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment
- The income and financial status of the respondent
- Feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in instalments.
35. SYVNS authorities will file a compliance report to the ICC within 30 days of issuance of such recommendation.
36. ICC shall have the necessary powers to take suo-moto notice of incidents of sexual harassment and/or gender injustice in the Workplace and act against the same in such manner as it deems appropriate.
37. The identity of the aggrieved person, respondent, witnesses and proceedings of the ICC and its recommendations and the action taken by SYVNS shall not be published, communicated or made known to the public, press or media in any manner and it will be outside the purview of
the Right to Information Act, 2005.
38. No legal practitioner will be allowed to represent either the aggrieved person or the respondent in proceedings before the ICC.
39. The ICC has the powers of a civil court in the following cases:
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person related to the incident
- Requiring the discovery and production of any documents
- Any other matter relating to the incident as decided by the ICC from time to time.
40. The aggrieved person or respondent may prefer an appeal to the competent authority.