The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 [“hereinafter referred as the Act”] is an Act to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Simbhaoli Power Private Limited (“hereinafter referred as the Employer or the Company”) is an equal employment opportunity Company and is committed of creating a healthy, safe and secure work environment that enables employees to work without fear of prejudice, gender bias and sexual harassment. The Company strongly believes in a work culture wherein all the employees have the right to be treated with dignity, fairness and respect. Sexual harassment at the workplace or other than workplace if involving employees is a grave offence and is, therefore, punishable.
Purpose & Scope
Purpose of this policy is to provide protection against sexual harassment of men and women at workplace and the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and matters related to it.
Following and implementing the Act enjoining all employers to constitute an “Internal Complaints Committee” and lay down guidelines for redressal of complaint related to sexual harassment of Women at the workplace.
This policy extends to all employees including individuals coming to the workplace at all the Units or offices for employment or for any other purpose whatsoever including but not limited to visitors, vendors, contractual resources, seconders and applies to any alleged act of sexual harassment against persons at workplace, whether the incident has occurred during or beyond office hours.
This policy does not prevent any aggrieved person from taking recourse to the law of the land.
§ The quorum of the Internal Complaints Committee meeting shall be at least three members provided the presence of aforesaid Presiding Officer and the non-employee member will be mandatory and also at least half of the members shall be women.
§ The Composition of Internal Complaints Committee of the Company consists of the following:
1- Ms Surabhi Singh, Chairperson
2- Ms. Reena Sarin, Member
3- Mr. Sanjay Tripathi, Member
4- Mr. Pitambar Kumar, Member
The Plant heads will be the permanent Invitees of the Committee meetings.
1. Any aggrieved individual may make in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the Company addressing Internal Complaints Committee within a period of three (3) months from the date of incident and in case of more than one incident, within a period of three (3) months from the date of last incident. Complaints arising of incidents more than three (3) months old shall not be accepted.
2. However, the IC may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend such time limit of filing complaint up to further 3 months, if it is satisfied that bonafide circumstances prevented the aggrieved individual from filing complaint within the time limit mentioned in point (1) hereinabove. The complaint should clearly mention name and available details of both the aggrieved person and the respondent. Anonymous or pseudonymous complaints will not be investigated.
3. Where the aggrieved individual is unable to make the complaint on account of her/his physical or mental incapacity or death or otherwise, his/her representative, as more fully described under Rule 6 of the said Rules, may make a complaint.
4. The Company shall forward the complaint to the Presiding Officer of ICC within seven (7) days from the date of making of the complaint.
5. The complainant shall submit two copies of the complaint accompanied by available supporting documents and relevant details concerning the alleged act of sexual harassment(s) including names and address of witnesses, if any which the complainant believes to be true and accurate.
Before the ICC initiates an inquiry, the complainant may request the IC to take steps to resolve the matter through conciliation provided no monetary settlement shall be made as basis of conciliation. If a settlement has been so arrived, the ICC shall record the same and forward the same to the Employer and provide copies of the settlement to the aggrieved individual and the respondent. In such cases, no further inquiry shall be conducted by the ICC.
(1) In case where a settlement is not feasible or could not be arrived at through conciliation (ref clause 4.3.1 above), the ICC will conduct an inquiry into the complaint. Additionally, an inquiry may also be initiated if the aggrieved person informs the ICC that any terms of settlement (ref clause 4.3.1 above) has not been complied with by the respondent.
(1) The IC within 7 (seven) working days of receiving the complaint shall forward one copy thereof to the respondent for obtaining a response.
(2) The respondent within 10 (ten) working days of receiving the complaint shall file his/her reply to the complaint along with list of supporting documents, names and addresses of witnesses.
(3) The IC shall consider the reply from the respondent and initiate an inquiry. The complainant or the respondent to the complaint shall not be allowed to bring any legal practitioner to represent them at any stage of the proceedings before the IC. IC shall hear both the complainant and the respondent on date(s) intimated to them in advance and the principles of natural justice will be followed accordingly.
(4) In the event of failure to attend personal hearing before IC by the complainant or the respondent on three consecutive dates (intimated in advance) without sufficient cause, the IC shall have the right to terminate the inquiry proceedings or give an ex-parte decision. However, the IC shall serve a notice in writing to the party (ies), 15 (fifteen) days in advance, before such termination or the ex-parte order.
(5) The inquiry process shall be completed maximum within the period of 90 (ninety) days from the date of receipt of the complaint.
(6) The IC within 10 (ten) days from the date of completion of inquiry shall provide a report of its findings and recommendation(s) to the Company or final authority and such report and recommendation(s) shall also be forthwith made available to the complainant(s) and respondent(s).
(7) Where the conduct of Sexual Harassment amounts to a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code4 (45 of 1860) or under any other law; it shall be the duty of IC to immediately inform the complainant of his/her right to initiate action in accordance with law with the appropriate authority, and to give advice and guidance regarding the same. Any such action or proceedings initiated shall be in addition to proceedings initiated and /or any action taken under this Policy.
During pendency of the inquiry, on a written request made by the complainant, the committee may recommend to the employer to:
- Transfer the aggrieved individual or the respondent to any other workplace; or
- Grant leave to the aggrieved individual of maximum 3 months, in addition to the leave he/she would be otherwise entitled; or
This policy and the law prohibits any person including IC Members from publishing, communicating or making known to the public, press and media in any manner, contents of the complaint, the identity and addresses of the aggrieved person, respondent and witnesses, any information relating to conciliation and inquiry proceedings, or recommendations of the IC during the proceedings under the provisions of the Act.
If an aggrieved individual brings to the notice of the IC any instances of sexual harassment where the respondent is not an employee or other individuals covered under this policy, the Management or any person delegated by the Management shall provide assistance to the aggrieved individual, if such aggrieved individual so chooses, to file a complaint with the IC of the respondent's employer or under the IPC or any other law for the time being in force, as may be appropriate.
Protection to Complainant
The Company is committed to ensuring that no employee who brings forward a harassment concern is subject to any form of reprisal. Any reprisal will be subject to disciplinary action. The Company will ensure that the victim or witnesses are not victimized or discriminated against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment.
However, anyone who abuses the procedure (for example, by maliciously putting an allegation knowing it to be untrue and/or produces any forged or misleading document) will be subject to applicable disciplinary action.
Any person aggrieved by the recommendation of IC may prefer an appeal under the relevant provisions of the Act and Rules.
Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – Sexual Harassment and Punishment for Sexual Harassment
Under the Indian Penal Code, the newly introduced Section (Section 354A) which deals with Sexual Harassment has made this a ‘cognizable offense’ i.e. a person charged with Sexual Harassment may be arrested without a warrant.
(1) A man committing any of the following acts:
physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; or (ii) a demand or request for sexual favours; or
(iii) showing pornography against the will of a woman; or
(iv) making sexually coloured remarks,
shall be guilty of the offence of sexual harassment.
(2) Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (i) or clause (ii) or clause (iii) above, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
(2) Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (iv) above shall be punished with imprisonment of either description (i.e. either simple or rigorous) for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
In addition to Section 354A set out above, acts of Sexual Harassment may also constitute other offenses under IPC including Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), Section 354C (Voyeurism), Section 354D (Stalking), Section 375 and 376 (Rape) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC.