Dinesh Divekar
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Hi Can employer carry domestic enquiry on an employee if the complainant is an outsider.If not then what will be action of the employer. Regds Priya
31st May 2017 From India, Gurgaon
Seniors Is there any difference between carrying on Enquiry on alleged employee and Inquiry on alleged employee. Please clarify Regds Priya
31st May 2017 From India, Gurgaon
Dear Priya,
If the complainant is not from your company then whether to conduct the domestic enquiry or not is your question. However, we need to know what is the nature of complaint? Is it civil dispute or criminal offence? Rather than approaching police why the complainant has approached your company? Does it mean that complainant does not want to go to police yet feels that if the accused's company gives him warning that is sufficient to correct the behaviour? Is accusation a minor one or serious one?
Your query needs further elaboration. There is no point in giving replies with assumptions.
Dinesh Divekar
31st May 2017 From India, Bangalore
I feel that a employer can not ask any thing about your personal things even if the complain in made by your fellow mate unless HR finds lacking in your performances. It is not the matter of company in any manner. how ever if your issue goes legal than probably you are in trouble
31st May 2017 From India, undefined
Thanks for your response.would like to share info about the incidence in brief-
The Complainant in her letter has mentioned that the incident happened when she visited our office premise for official works .she stated that the 2 employees of my organization passed derogatory remarks on her and both of them looked drunk.
This is pertinent to mention here that few months back the same lady had verbal argument with one of our employee on some official matter.
Kindly advise whether we can ask for clarification from the alleged employee and then do an preliminary enquiry if required.
As per the COC of my organization ,geting drunk inside the office is considered offence.
1st June 2017 From India, Gurgaon
Dear Priya,

From your second post it can be inferred that though the complainant was outsider, the incident happened in your company premises and the accused are your company's employees. Therefore, this case merits investigation.

Passing derogatory remarks against a woman can be termed as sexual harassment. Therefore, deal this matter with due sensitivity. Good that she did not approach police directly. Otherwise it could have become a far more serious case.

The question arises is when the incident happened and when did you receive the complaint? What was the time gap? If the woman claimed that the two persons were drunk then why it was not investigated by your security? Why they were not sent for the medical test? How anyone can enter your company in drunken state? Why their drunken state was not observed by the security personnel? Even if the employee enters in a drunken state and it goes undetected by the security, why their drunken state was also not noticed by the fellow employees? If your company's code of conduct does not permit working in drunken state then why other employees did not report about their inebriated condition? If they had given timely information to security or HR, this incident could have been avoided.

Has this incident been reported to the senior authorities to your company? What was their reaction?

The latest incident need not be linked to the past incident where the woman visitor had argument some employee.


Dinesh Divekar
1st June 2017 From India, Bangalore
Mr Divekar I didn’t find any reply to my query yet ,it seems you are trying to find faults then guiding . Disappointing . Priya
2nd June 2017 From India, Gurgaon
Yes you can conduct enquiry.If the incident falls under sexual harassment Act the n follow the procedure under it.
2nd June 2017 From India, Thiruvananthapuram
Dear Priya,

Alas, you had read correctly first paragraph of my second post. The last line reads "Therefore, this case merits investigation". Have I given reply or not? Secondly, your first post was too short. Therefore, I had sought clarification. Last paragraph of my first post reads "Your query needs further elaboration. There is no point in giving replies with assumptions.". Have I not guided by seeking clarification?

I am appalled at your brazenness. Please note that this is a public forum and any post that is raised in public forum is bound to come under public scrutiny. Scrutiny demands criticism as well. Neither we are your paid consultants nor you are our customers so as to have compulsion of satisfying you.

As far as enquiry is concerned, while designing the terms of reference, you need to include terms to investigate not on just passing derogatory comments on a woman visitor but drunkenness of your employees as well. Your terms of reference should empower Enquiring Officer (EO) in investigating not just the individual failure but systematic failure as well". For a senior person like me, loss of evidence on drunken state of the employees is far more serious.

The knowledge category that you have chosen to upload your post is Talk to Industry Seniors. When seniors advise, propriety demands accepting one's mistakes with humility and being thankful for corrections. If you feel that you are exempted from this professional etiquette then god bless you!


Dinesh Divekar
2nd June 2017 From India, Bangalore
As Mr. Divekar has rightly said that if the women would have approached the Police then the matter would have been serious, now please do the following at the earliest
1) Please report the incident to the Senior Management immediately
2) Conduct Domestic enquiry about the incident
3) Send an apology to the Lady who has initiated the complaint on behalf the company, so as to avoid her seeking help from local police.
2nd June 2017 From India, Ahmadabad
Dear Guidance -Seeker,

Your Query: Can an Employer carry domestic inquiry against Employee in his /her Establishment if the complainant is an outsider.If not then what will be an action by the Employer. Regards Priya, 31st May 2017, Gurgaon.

Guidance: The purpose of an Internal Inquiry (often referred to as Domestic Inquiry or Departmental Inquiry) is to ascertain the "Facts of the Case/ in respect of a Complaint aginst any Employee of the Establishment.

In the case quoted, the Employer ought to proceed with Disciplinary Action as provided for in the Certified Standing Orders or the Service Rules, as the case may be, against the Employee concerned.

The sequence of such Disciplinary Action-Steps ought to be:

Step. 1- First, seek and secure from the Woman Non-Employee-Complainant, sufficient details of / about her Complaint, as precisely as she would state i.e. Date, Time, Place of occurance of of the incident and the Incident itself per se if she has so far not submitted her Complaint in writing.She may or may not attest her Statement of Complaint and in such situation any Officer of the Establishment can Record her statement/accept her written statement of Complaint by self-attesting that theComplainant declined to attest;

2. Based on thedetails/data so collected, prima facie, Draft / Frame a Charge-sheet or an Explanation Letter to be issued to the concerned Employee under the Signature of the Authorized Punishing Authority;

3. Arrange to issue the said Charge-sheet/Explanantion Letter to the said Employee and ask him to submit his Reply to the "Allegations" so leveled against him within the Time stipulated in the Standing Orders/ Service Rules;

4. After receiving his Reply/Expalnantion and finding after due consideration that the same is Not acceptable, the Punishing Authority ought to issue a Written Office Order ordering Inquiry into the matter in accordance with the Principles of Natural Justice as well as the Procedures laid down by the Judiciary for such Internal Inquiry;

5. In this same Office Order, the Punishing Authority ought to appoint a) an Inquiry Officer or Inquiry Committee to inquire into the matter and submit his/her/their Inquiry Report with Findings and b) Nominate a Competent Officer in the Establishment as Management Representative to present the Employer/Management's Case before the Inquiry Officer/Committee;

6. Once the Inquiry Report with Findings is submitted /forwarded to the Punishing Authority, he/she ought to exercise his/her discretion to award a proportionate Punishment or issue Condonation Letter to the concerned Employee and inform the Non-Employee Complainant accordingly.

However, in case the Aggrieved -Woman-Complainant in this case, reports /Submit her Written Complaint against the said Employee's Act of Misconduct amounting toSexula Harassment, then the Employer ought to necessarily forward her said Complaint of Sexual Harassment to the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) constituted by the Establishment / your Establishment underSection -4 of the Sexual Harassment of Woman at Workplace (P, P &R) Act 2013.

After the ICC submits their Inquiry Report to the Employer, necessary further Disciplinary Action ought to be taken as per the Provisions of the Standing Orders / Service Rules applicable to the Employee-Respondent amended in alignment with the sAID shww aCT 2013.

Kritarth Team is available for Help / Guidance.

2nd June 2017 From India, Delhi
Mr. Divekar, I appreciate the reply given by you to Priya.I hope Priya will follow the basic professional etiquette while posting on public forum like this. Regards, SHRCICC
2nd June 2017 From India, Dombivali
Perhaps, Professional etiquette needs to be redefined .When so called Seniors doesn’t know how to reply or behavr in a Professional manner.
2nd June 2017 From India, Gurgaon
Don' t be aggressive discuss topic
and solution is no inquiry on personal affair
take action against employee on two for misconduct
1. drunk status
2. public harassment toward any body
As far as inquiry it legal so it is the affair of police if that women feels she can approach police,your office team on women issues if she doesn't you will be guilty if you inquire any thing which is legal fine
all my opinion
I want nobody discusses on this post
and I am not HR
I am only a project coordination
3rd June 2017 From India, undefined
It is not clear the premises where the incidence happened is a place to be frequented by visitors and whether any visitor can directly interact with your employees without any supervisory direction / control in that place. (or) whether the employees are required to perform work only in the presence of visitors. If any one of the above is not so, whether the employees have left their place of work and came to the place of the visitor and passed derogatory remarks? Whether the visitor immediately reported the matter to the superior/ security or any other person, or sent the complaint later on only.

Any how before issuing any charge sheet, the supervisor in charge of the employees can conduct a preliminary oral enquiry and if there is any fact, he has to consolidate the same and submit written report on the matter to the HR/his superiors for further disciplinary action. That written report will be basic report for complaint and not the complaint from outside visitor. The outside visitor's complaint can be submitted alongwith the superior's report as a supporting document, because normally outsiders are not examined in domestic enquiry as a witness.

Any person drunk during working hours has to be ascertained by means of Medical report from approved medical practitioner only and mere allegations are not enough.

M Venkatraghavan
3rd June 2017 From India, Selam
Dear Sir, The matter of saxual harrashment in office premises with client/visitor is itself a serious offence and should be dealt accordingly. However full detailed complaint in writing be obtained from visiting complainent . The matter can be investigated and on the basis of I/r explanation of the concenred employee can be obtained and if felt necessary then further action should be decided as per company D&A policy. g.p.agarwal lucknow
3rd June 2017 From India, undefined
Dear Queriest,

Before taking or proceeding any further, make sure on these-

1) Why this complainant was in your premises, anything to do with your official duties ?, did you call her into your office ?

2) What the official link with the complainant and the charged officials ?

3) Is the complaint received in writing, has it been registered yer ??

4) If registered, what did you do so far, did you consult any of your seniors or any other designated officer?

5) Is there any prima facie evidence, do you have them, or did the complainant provided to you, is't on record. Any CCTV footage to verify the incident. Any eyewitness to the incident.

6) How big is your establishment

7) How come they are drunk within the premises, is there any one who could testify they are really drunk, is it real or only allegation from this complainant.

8) Before we could suggest some what is your own perception, do you think this complaint deserves further investigation, merits to take to further levels ??
4th June 2017 From India, Bangalore
Please see whether there was any violation of your rules and if so u are free to proceed with disciplinary action
6th June 2017 From India, Bangalore
In my view, when an outsider person approaches company with complaint. there are 70% chances that complaint is minor and may be poorly investigate and checked by the complainant . There are 90% chances that personal touch to case and detailed discussion with all stakeholders will save company time to go to civil authorities.
In case the issue is not minor or Threat to life of a person or serious please under it first and take up to civil authorities.
Do not leave any loose end any ways.
20th June 2017 From India, Ludhiana
Yes, employer can and should carry domestic enquiry on an employee if the complainant is an outsider.
if Internal complaints committee is formed within your organisation then report the matter before committee else immediately form ICC and report matter before it.
however, formation of ICC is mandatory for all organisations having 10+ employees,
for further details on inquiry procedure feel free to call/mail me or visit my blog - juristshub.blogspot.com
Suneel Moudgil, Advocate,
22nd June 2017
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