Design Whistleblower handling framework
Review of whistleblowing process, benchmarking with global best practices, SOPs and regulations.
Investigation of the allegations/complaint/issue
Training and awareness sessions for HR, Legal etc.
Who is a whistleblower?
Why is whistleblower handling critical? A whistleblower is anyone who reports illegal or unethical activity. This could be a person, often an employee, who reveals information about activity within a private or public organisation that is deemed illegal, immoral, illicit, unsafe or fraudulent. These activities can be of the form of fraud, corruption, misconduct, deceiving employees, indiscipline, wilful misuse of power, criminal activity, health and safety violations etc.
Whistleblower handling is critical to assist organisations with their ethics and compliance programs. Many organisations struggle to establish a strong whistleblowing mechanism, resulting in less confidence and trust between the employees and management, and therefore creating a gap that can result in conflicts, disputes and fraudulent activities.
Is it mandatory for organisations to have a Whistleblower handling mechanism?
Section 177(9) of the Companies Act, 2013 (the Act) mandates the following classes of companies to constitute a vigil mechanism
Regulation 4(2)(d)(iv) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (Listing Regulations), inter alia, provides for the listed entity to devise an effective Whistle-blower mechanism enabling stakeholders, including individual employees and their representative bodies, to freely communicate their concerns about illegal or unethical practices
Recently, while delivering the speech on the occasion of 19th D. P. Kohli Memorial Lecture, the Chief justice of India N. V. Ramana suggested an umbrella
“As the world is increasingly interconnected, everyone shares the responsibility of securing cyberspace - Newton Lee”
The rapidly changing regulatory landscape in India and the dynamics of social media has placed greater onus on commercial organisations to have robust.
In a bid to incentivize whistleblowers, The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to increase the maximum reward for information
InteLaw Consulting in association with 'Enhance and Excel' and 'Ungender' conducted a workshop on 17th September titled "i-POSH: How to conduct POSH Investigations?".
Corporate investigations, whether related to workplace issues, financial frauds, or regulatory matters, often entail using e-discovery tools and techniques to gather crucial information.
A row of narcotic drug-related cases and arrests of leading Bollywood celebrity figures by the Narcotics Control Bureau (hereinafter, the NCB) in the recent past threw open a Pandora’s box of controversies
Following recent reports of bribery allegations involving one of India's largest e-commerce companies, several pressing questions about the country's business environment have dominated the news.
Investigation firms are unexplored deep waters of the legal ecosystem that play a significant role in solving a case and preventing an offence by gathering timely and crucial evidence
Pre-matrimonial due diligence and post-matrimonial investigations are increasingly being handled by professional investigators. Earlier, parents, friends or family members used to verify the credibility and authenticity of the prospective bride/groom from their informal sources before deciding on a nuptial. However, the scenario is fast changing with matrimonial alliances being prone to forgery, cheating and legal disputes, cost of which is very high and damage irreparable.
The increase in cross-border employees, business partners, stakeholders, vendors and labour force questions the existing due diligence process followed in hiring or onboarding or conducting any business transaction, and necessitates a comprehensive human-intelligence led investigative due diligence to expedite decisions, minimize risk and avoid legal implications.
Financial frauds have increased in tandem with the increased number of online transactions. Detecting fraud in any sector is critical for keeping customers' money safe as well as reducing financial losses and keeping the company profitable. This short article outlines the nature and extent of the problem, and the various investigative tools and methodologies used by Intelaw to address the issues.
The maintenance provisions under the Indian law are often used for harassing one or the other party, and in many cases the quantum of the amount awarded as maintenance is inadequate. Professional investigative services like asset trace and financial due diligence can provide the aggrieved party with useful evidence in their fight for getting justice.
In recent days the term ‘moonlighting’ has become a hot topic especially in the IT industry. The IT giant Wipro recently fired 300 of its employees for moonlighting, while other big companies like IBM, TCS, Infosys have raised concerns about their employees doing a side job after working hours. The debate over ‘moonlighting’ doesn’t seem to settle, with divided opinions and lack of clarity, whether it's a moral, ethical or legal issue, or all of these. But the debate has definitely triggered the need for robust due diligence mechanism, enforcement of Business Code of Conduct, and internal investigations especially in the post-Covid-19 times, when the corporates are facing challenges to monitor employee misconduct, the increasing risk of fraud, financial and reputational loss, and of course the legal implications of terminating employee contracts.
© 2022 Intelaw Consulting. All Rights Reserved