We have issued a show cause notice to a worker in our factory, there was enough evident to be proven him as guilty..
Now he has given the reply letter stating that all those complaints against him is False. But there are two witnesses who is being a strong evidence against him.
As per the company policy, its a severe misconduct. can anyone help me How to proceed now?

From India, Chennai

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Dear Stephen_7,
To prove the misconduct levelled against the employee, you need to issue him charge sheet and conduct a domestic enquiry. You will lead your evidences in the enquiry. The employee should be given an opportunity to defend himself as per the principal of natural justice. On receipt of findings of enquiry, you can take appropriate legal action against him.

From India, Mumbai
As we don’t have any video footage at that point, he is just blindly refusing the eyewitnesses in the enquiry. Around 2 years back, he have got an advisory memo on the same issue.
From India, Chennai
Dear Stephan
In addition to Shri Kargaonkarji's response, I will like to mention that the domestic inquiry is not a judiciary proceeding and evidences are not viewed as it is in case of court proceedings (Indian Evidence Act 1872 does not apply).
The inquiry officer should also examine circumstantial evidences- which lead to believe that the accused employee has committed the misconduct leveled against him.
If inquiry officer is satisfied he should take it on record and can conclude that the employee has committed the misconduct.
The disciplinary Authority should inflict the punishment as prescribed in standing order applicable to the employee.
Shailesh Parikh
Vadodara, Gujarat
99 98 97 10 65

From India, Mumbai
You have not given enough details about the nature of the misconduct. So, let me ask you what if the two witnesses are colluding to get the employee sacked due to some grudge?
From United Kingdom
That worker was smoking at machinery area which was seen by 2 staffs gone for stock taking. He is refusing it now. It is considered as very serious issue.
From India, Chennai
Dear Stephen,
Whether you have mentioned Smoking incident in Show-cause notice? is yes, and based on this the worker is denying the misconduct then you can proceed ahead and issue Charge-sheet.
In the charge-sheet mention the incident and say that your (worker) reply is not satisfactory and level the charges in it, mention the date and time of enquiry, give the name of Enquiry officer, allow worker to bring evidence to defend himself and allow to bring his Defence representative.
Ensure that the Charge-sheet is received by the worker and get his sign on the Office copy.
Appoint Enquiry officer and give him appintment letter and copy of the charge sheet.
Appoiint Management Representative and give him copy of Appointment.
Conduct Domestic Enquiry in fair way.
Avinash K.

From India, Mumbai
The next step is to issue him a "Notice of Enquiry", in which you can very well mention or stating that " as the reply given by you is not satisfactory, Management would like conduct an Domestic Enquiry".Further in the Notice of Equiry, you have mention about the Enquiry officer, date of Enquiry, about the Co-worker whom he can bring to speak on his behalf etc.
From India, Madras
As pointed by Shailesh Parikh the enquiry is not as per Indian evidence act. So very very strong proof is not required. You should have proper process for conducting enquiry. There should be proper steps for enquiry. I assume you have standing orders and service rules in company,
Misconduct-list of misconduct
charge sheet &service of chargesheet
reply of employee to chargesheet
conducting Enquiry
punishment/ Take employee on job
I have broadly given some steps. Since this is serious decision even for the employee you should do it properly. Please refer good books costing less than Rs 500. The enquiry/ suspension should not termed illegal for missing proper process. Many enquiries do not stand in court for missing proper procedure. You will come across similar situations so have proper documentation of this entire process.

From India, Mumbai
Always remember the principles of natural justice has to be followed at all steps in such cases. Since he has refused to accept that he has committed a mistake , you can now proceed to have a domestic inquiry. (Has it been mentioned in your standing orders that smoking is a misconduct , if not you will have to invoke other clauses like negligence of safety norms or not obeying the rules and regulations of the company )
From India, Bangalore

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