Section 177 of the Companies Act, 2013 mandates the Company to establish a vigil mechanism for the directors and employees to report genuine concerns in such manner as may be prescribed. Company has formulated the present policy for establishing the vigil mechanism/ Whistle Blower Policy to safeguard the interest of its stakeholders, Directors and employees, to freely communicate and address to the Company their genuine concerns in relation to any illegal or unethical practice being carried out in the Company.
The Audit Committee of the Company shall together constitute the Vigil Committee which shall be responsible for monitoring and overseeing the functioning of the Vigil mechanism so constituted hereunder.
The Company shall disclose the details of the Vigil Committee on its website and in the report of the Board of Directors.
In the event any member of the Committee has a conflict of interest in a given case, such a member shall immediately rescue himself from participating and deciding on such matter. The other members of the Committee shall deal with such matter on hand.
"Protected Disclosure" means a concern raised by an employee or group of employees of the Company, through a written communication and made in good faith which discloses or demonstrates information about an unethical or improper activity under the title "SCOPE OF THE POLICY" with respect to the Company. It should be factual and not speculative or in the nature of an interpretation / conclusion and should contain as much specific information as possible to allow for proper assessment of the nature and extent of the concern.
"Subject" means a person or group of persons against or in relation to whom a Protected Disclosure is made or evidence gathered during the course of an investigation.
"Vigilance Officer/Vigilance Committee or Committee" is a person or Committee of persons, nominated/appointed to receive protected disclosures from whistle blowers, maintaining records thereof, placing the same before the Audit Committee f or its disposal and informing the Whistle Blower the result thereof.
"Whistle Blower" is an employee or group of employees who make a Protected Disclosure under this Policy and also referred in this policy as complainant.
The Policy covers malpractices and events which have taken place/ suspected to take place involving:
All directors and Employees of the Company are eligible to make Protected Disclosures under the Policy in relation to matters concerning the Company.
All Protected Disclosures should be reported in writing by the complainant as soon as possible, not later than 30 days after the Whistle Blower becomes aware of the same either be typed or written in a legible handwriting in English.
The Protected Disclosure should be submitted under a covering letter signed by complainant in a closed and secured envelope and should be super scribed as "Protected disclosure under the Whistle Blower policy" or sent through email with the subject "Protected disclosure under the Whistle Blower policy" . If the complaint is not super scribed and closed as mentioned above, the protected disclosure will be dealt with as a normal disclosure.
Name: Ms. Neeta Kamra, Compliance and Legal- Head
Mailing Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact No. 0124-4762545
Protected Disclosure against the Vigilance Officer should be addressed to the Chairman of the Company. The contact details of the Chairman of the Audit Committee are as under:
Name: Mr. Sanjay Chaturvedi
Mailing Address: email@example.com
Contact No. 0124-4762531
In order to protect the identity of the complainant, the vigilance Officer will not issue any acknowledgement to the complainants and they are not advised neither to write their name/ address on the envelope nor enter into any further correspondence with the Vigilance Officer. Anonymous / Pseudonymous disclosure shall not be entertained by the Vigilance Officer. On receipt of the protected disclosure the Vigilance Officer, Chairman of the Audit Committee, as the case may be, shall detach the covering letter bearing the identity of the whistle Blower and process only the Protected Disclosure.
All Protected Disclosures under this policy will be recorded and thoroughly investigated. The Vigilance Officer will carry out an investigation either himself/herself or by involving any other Officer of the Company/ Committee constituted for the same /an outside agency before referring the matter to the Audit Committee of the Company.
The Audit Committee, if deems fit, may call for further information or particulars from the complainant and at its discretion, consider involving any other/additional Officer of the Company and/or Committee and/ or an outside agency for the purpose of investigation.
The investigation by itself would not tantamount to an accusation and is to be treated as a neutral fact finding process.
The investigation shall be completed normally within 90 days of the receipt of the protected disclosure and is extendable by such period as the Audit Committee deems fit.
Any member of the Audit Committee or other officer having any conflict of interest with the matter shall disclose his/her concern /interest forthwith and shall not deal with the matter.
The Company supports the initiatives whereby, genuine and a bona fide concerns of the Whistle Blower can be addressed and proper/ corrective measures can be taken before the same escalates out of hand. However this mechanism should to be employed for making malicious and frivolous complaints which shall be dealt strictly by the Vigil Committee.
a) the Whistle Blower/ accused shall have a right to be heard and adequate time and opportunity shall be given for the subject to communicate his/ her say on the matter
b) the Whistle Blower/ Accused shall have the right to be informed of the outcome of the investigation and shall be so informed in writing by the Company after the Completion of the Inquiry/ investigation process by the Vigil Committee
If an investigation leads to a conclusion that an improper or unethical act has been committed, the Chairman of the Audit Committee shall recommend to the Board of Directors of the Company to take such disciplinary or corrective action as it may deem fit.
Any disciplinary or corrective action initiated against the Subject as a result of the findings of an investigation pursuant to this Policy shall adhere to the applicable personnel or staff conduct and disciplinary procedures.
A quarterly report with number of complaints received under the Policy and their outcome shall be placed before the Audit Committee and the Board.
A complainant who makes false allegations of unethical & improper practices or about alleged wrongful conduct of the Subject to the Vigilance Officer or the Audit Committee shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the rules, procedures and policies of the Company.
No Whistle Blower who, in good faith, makes a disclosure or lodges complaints in accordance with this policy shall suffer reprisal, discrimination or adverse employment consequences. The Company as a policy, condemns any kind of discrimination, harassment, victimization or any other unfair employment practice being adopted against the Whistle Blower
Any other official of the Company assisting in the said investigation shall also be protected to the same extent as the Whistle Blower.
The identity of the Whistle Blower shall be revealed only amongst the member of the Vigil Committee/Vigilance Office , Member of Audit Committee of the Company or any other person/ outside
agency authorised to investigate the matter as the case may be. The identity of the Whistle Blower will not be revealed unless he himself has made either his details public or disclosed his identity to any other officer or authority.
The Whistle Blower, the Accused, the Whistle Officer and everyone involved in the process shall:
if anyone is found not complying with the above, he/ she shall be held liable for such disciplinary action as in considered fit
The Whistle Blower shall have right to access Chairman of the Audit Committee directly in exceptional cases and the Chairman of the Audit Committee is authorized to prescribe suitable directions in this regard.
The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the administration, interpretation, application and review of this policy. The Board also shall be empowered to bring about necessary changes to this Policy, if required at any stage with the concurrence of the Audit Committee
Directors and Employees shall be informed of the Policy by publishing on the notice board and the website of the Company.
All Protected disclosures in writing or documented along with the results of Investigation relating thereto, shall be retained by the Company for a period of 5 (five) years or such other period as specified by any other law in force, whichever is more.
The Company reserves its right to amend or modify this Policy in whole or in part, at any time without assigning any reason whatsoever. However, no such amendment or modification will be binding on the Employees and Directors unless the same is notified to them in writing.