PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY (POSH)

PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY (POSH) AT WORK PLACE

1. A statement of Commitment

Sexual harassment as generally understood is of two kinds: hostile environment and quid pro quo. Hostile work environment includes pornography in public places, foul language, etc. This may not be directed at any woman employee but the effect on the women is one of discomfort. Second, quid pro quo i.e. "in exchange" for favor’s such as promotions, employment perks etc.

Kribhco Infrastructure Ltd.(KRIL) is committed to creating an hostile free environment for its employees/ beneficiaries .It is committed to ensure that the Supreme Court in guidelines in the case of Visakha Judgement pertaining to sexual harassment are followed. As part of this commitment the following policy has been formulated

This policy shall be binding not only on the employees and the management but also on third party harassment on the premises.

2. Definitions

a. "Sexual Harassment", as is provided in the Supreme Court Judgement, includes any unwelcome sexually determined behavior, direct or by implication, and includes physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favors, sexually colored remarks, showing pornography, any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
b. "Employee" means any person on the rolls and would include employees working on a casual basis or on projects or employed through a contractor.
c. "NGO" means any Non-Governmental Organization registered as a public trust or a society operating on a secular, nonprofit basis and involved in work concerning amelioration of status of women and children.
d. "Management" means the managing or governing body.
e. “Employer” means-
• In relation to any department, organization, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit of the appropriate Government or a local authority, head of the department, organization, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit or such other officer as the appropriate Government or the local authority, as the case may be, may by an order specify in this behalf.
• In any workplace not covered under sub-clause (above point), any person responsible for the management, supervision and control of the workplace.

f. “Aggrieved woman” means-
• In relation to a workplace, a woman, of any age whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent;
• In relation to a dwelling place or house, a woman of any age who is employed in such a dwelling place or house.

g. “Workplace” includes-
• Any department, organization, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit which is established, owned, controlled or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government or the local authority or a Government company or a corporation or a co-operative society;
• Any private sector organization or private venture, undertaking, enterprise, institution, establishment, society, trust, non-governmental organization, unit or service provider carrying on commercial, professional, vocational, educational, entertainmental, industrial, health services or financial activities including production, supply, sale, distribution or service;
• Hospitals or nursing homes;
• Any sports institute, stadium, sports complex, or competition or games venue, whether residential or not used for training, sports or other activities relating to thereto;
• Any place visited by the employee arising out of or during the course of employment including transportation provided by the employer for undertaking such journey;
• A dwelling place or house.

3. Scope of the policy

This Policy will be applicable to all complaints of sexual harassment by an employee against another employee, in either case, irrespective of whether sexual harassment is alleged to have taken place within or outside the premises. It shall also be applicable in respect of all allegations of sexual harassment made by an outsider against an employee or made by an employee against a third party if the sexual harassment is alleged to have taken place within the premises.

4. Responsibilities regarding Sexual Harassment

All employees of the Company have a personal responsibility to ensure that their behavior is not contrary to this policy. All employees are encouraged to reinforce the maintenance of a work environment free from sexual harassment

5. Constitution of Internal Complaints Committee

KRIL shall set up Internal Complaints Committee which shall comprise of:
• At least 4 of the members out of which 50% shall be women, with Presiding officer as woman employed at senior level.
• There should be one NGO representative.
• The term of office of the Committee shall be 3 years.
• Provided however that a person shall cease to hold office as a member of the Committee if he or she ceases to be an employee due to resignation, termination or death.
• Members should not have any criminal background or any legal case pending against him/her.

a) Vacancy of a member due to inability to participate in meetings:
If a member elected or nominated or designated to the Committee remains absent without permission of the Chairperson for three consecutive meetings, her/ his office shall thereupon become vacant.

b) Resignation of a member
A member of the Committee may resign from his/ her office at any time in writing to the Chairperson.

c) Filling of vacancy
The vacancy shall be filled by another in due manner by the company.

6. Meetings of the Committee

The Committee shall meet every three months if there is no complaint. During these meetings the Committee may take cognizance of requests of employees, hold informal meetings or have awareness trainings/ programs.
Special meetings may be called if deemed necessary on receipt of request of the members.
The quorum for any meeting of the Committee will be 50% of its members. However when a hearing is scheduled it is mandatory for all to be present.
If the quorum is not present at any meeting it shall be adjourned for not more than seven working days. If at a subsequent meeting the quorum is still not present the meeting shall proceed and the proceedings of such a meeting will not be challenged on the ground of absence of quorum.

7. Powers and duties of Committee

The powers and duties of the Committee shall be as follows, namely:
(a) To ensure and supervise the proper constitution and functioning of the Complaints Committee.
(b) To organize regular workshops and training programs for members of the Complaints Committee.
(c) To formulate programs for the spread of awareness.
(d) To disseminate information against sexual harassment.
(e) To bring out publications in vernacular languages concerning sexual harassment and other information material.
(f) To hear and deal with complaints.
(g) To ensure implementation of this Policy.

8. Punishment of accused person

Any person found guilty of sexual harassment shall be liable to be punished and shall be liable for any of the following penalties/punishment:
(a) Warning, reprimand or censure;
(b) Written apology
(c) Withholding of an increment for a period not exceeding one year;
(d) Reduction in rank;
(e) Termination of service
Provided however, that in addition to all these penalties the employee can also be called to tender an apology in writing if the victim is willing to accept the apology.

9. Grievance procedure

(a) The victim will have a right to lodge a complaint concerning sexual harassment against the accused with the Complaints Committee within a period of three months from the date of incident and in case of series of incidents, within a period of three months from the date of last incident.
(b) Such a complaint shall preferably be in writing.
(c) If the Complaint is oral the same shall be reduced in writing
(d) The Complainant will be given full confidentiality as far as possible.
(e) Within five working days from the date of receiving the complaint, the Chairperson shall convene a meeting of the Complaints Committee.
At this first meeting, the Complainant will be required to be present. The Committee shall hear the complaint and decide whether a prima facie case is made. The matter will be closed if the Complaint is unable to establish an offence of sexual harassment.
If the case proceeds further the Committee shall take into account the wishes of the Complainant concerning her meeting with the accused. The Committee shall thereafter proceed in the laid down manner.

10. Imposing minor punishment

In case the Committee decides to impose a minor punishment, the accused shall be given in writing an opportunity to explain within one week why he should not be for good and sufficient reasons be punished for the act of sexual harassment on his part. The nature and quantum of punishment if any to be imposed on him shall be decided after considering the explanation, if any given by the accused.

11. Imposing of major punishment

If an accused is alleged to be guilty of sexual harassment and if there is reason to believe that the event of the guilt being proved against him, he is liable for imposition of any major penalty the Internal Complaint Committee shall first decide whether to place the accused employee under suspension. If the accused employee is to be placed under suspension the provisions of suspension and subsistence allowance as prescribed under company’s HR policy.
If a person is charged with physical molestation or rape at Company’s office premises, he shall be immediately placed under suspension pending the completion of the investigation and enquiry. In all other cases, the Internal Complaint Committee shall within 3 days decide whether the charged person shall be placed under suspension or not and in either event it shall communicate its decision and the reasons for the decision to the Management which shall then implement the decision forthwith.
Within 3 days of the first meeting of the Internal Complaint Committee, it shall communicate to the accused by hand delivery duly acknowledged or by registered post acknowledgement due the allegations and demand from him a written explanation within 7 days from the date of receipt of the statement of allegations.
1. If Internal Complaint Committee finds the explanation of the accused not satisfactory or if no explanation is given by the accused, the Internal Complaint Committee will decide to hold an enquiry against the accused.
2. The Convener of the Internal Complaint Committee is a senior level woman from the company.
3. The meetings of the Internal Complaint Committee will be held during the office hours in the company premises but not during holidays.

12. Procedure for inquiry

The Committee shall
(a) Prepare a charge sheet mentioning specific charges with the statement of allegations.
(b) It shall also attach with it the complaint and ensure that it reaches the accused to respond to.
(c) The charge sheet may be hand delivered or sent by courier/or registered post and duly acknowledged within 7 days of the deciding to conduct the enquiry
(d) The time limit for response should be about 10 days.
(e) The rejoinder to the complaint shall be sent to the Chairperson by the accused either by registered post or courier or hand delivered
(f) If the Complainant or the accused desire to examine any witnesses they shall communicate in writing to the Chairperson the names of witnesses whom they propose to so examine;
(g) If the Complainant desires to tender any documents by way of evidence before the Committee, it shall supply self-attested true copies of such documents to the accused. Similarly if the accused desires to tender any documents in evidence before the Committee he shall supply self-attested true copies of such documents to the complainant
(h) Within 3 days after the expiry of period of 10 days the Committee shall call both the complainant and accused to appear before it. Atleast seven days’ notice should be given by hand delivery duly acknowledged or by registered post acknowledgement for producing evidence, examining witnesses, etc., if any
(i) The Committee shall ensure that the rule of natural justice is followed and both parties are given reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present their side of the story.
(j) The Complainant shall have the right to lead evidence and the right to cross examine witnesses brought in by the accused person.
(k) The accused person shall also have the right to be heard in person and lead evidence. He shall also have the right to cross examine witnesses brought by the Complainant
(l) Enough time and space shall be provided for cross examination of witnesses notified by both the parties
(m) All the proceedings of the Committee will be recorded and the same together with the statement of witnesses shall be endorsed by both the parties in token of authenticity thereof. The refusal to endorse the same by either party shall be endorsed by the Chairperson
(n) The enquiry shall ordinarily be completed within a period of three to six months from the date on of the charge sheet given to the accused person.
(o) The Complainant and the accused will be responsible to see the witnesses if any are present during the inquiry. However, if the Committee is convinced about the absence of either of the parties due to valid ground the Committee shall adjourn that particular meeting of the Committee. The meeting so adjourned shall be conducted even in the absence of the person concerned if he or she fails to remain present for the said adjourned meeting.
(p) The Chairperson shall forward to the Complainant and the accused person as the case may be a summary of the proceedings and extracts of the statements of witnesses, within four days of the completion of the above steps and allow them a time of seven days to offer further explanation, if any.
(q) The Complainant or the accused, as the case may be shall submit their further explanation to the Chairperson within seven days from the date of receipt of the summary of proceedings etc., either personally or by registered post acknowledgement due.
(r) On receipt of such further explanation or if no such further explanation is offered within the aforesaid time, the Committee shall complete the enquiry and communicate its findings on the charges against the accused and its decision on the basis of its finding to the Management for specific action to be taken against the accused within 10 days from the date of completion of the enquiry.
(s) It shall also forward a copy of the same by hand delivery duly acknowledged or by registered post acknowledgement due to the Complainant and to the accused.
(t) The findings of the Committee shall be binding on the Management which shall implement the same by issuing necessary orders within 7 days of the date of receipt of decision of the Committee
(u) The Management shall also endorse a copy of its order to the Complainant and to the Complaints Committee.
(v) The Committee may consider as relevant any earlier complaints against the person charged. However, the Complainant’s past sexual history will not be probed into or enquired during the proceedings before any of the committees.
(w) During pendency of an inquiry, on a written request made by the aggrieved woman, the committee may take the following action:
• Transfer that aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace; or
• Grant leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of three months; or
• Grant such other relief to the aggrieved woman as may be prescribed.
• The leave granted to the aggrieved woman shall be in addition to the leave she would be otherwise entitled.
(x) Where the committee arrives at a conclusion that the allegation against the respondent is malicious or the aggrieved woman or any other person making the complaint has made the complaint knowing it to be false or the aggrieved or any other person making the complaint has produced any forged or misleading document, the complainant shall, be liable for appropriate disciplinary action by the Board of Directors.
(y) In case of Criminal offence, the complainant will be assisting in filling Police complaint.
(z) Where the committee arrives at a conclusion that during the inquiry any witness has given false evidence or produced any forged or misleading document, it may recommend to the Board of Directors to take necessary actions in this regard.

13. Compensation

For the purpose of determining the sum, if any to be paid to the aggrieved woman, the committee shall consider the following while arriving at the compensation:
• The mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to the aggrieved woman;
• The loss in the career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment.
• Medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment.

14. Protection against Victimization

The Internal Complaints Committee shall act immediately if the complaint or witness brings to its notice any further harassment because of the complaint or appearing as witness.

15. Obligation of the management

The employer shall provide all necessary assistance for the purpose of ensuring full, effective and speedy implementation of this policy.

16. Third party harassment

In case of third party sexual harassment, the employer will assist and provide all its resources to the Complainant in pursuing the complaint and ensure her safety at least in its premises.

17. Conclusion

In conclusion, the company reiterates its commitment to providing its women employees, a workplace free from harassment/discrimination and where every employee is treated with dignity and respect.

18. General

The provision of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 shall be applicable in addition to this Policy.