PoSH Act’s Section 4 Subsection (2) clearly outlines the eligibility criteria for empanelment of external member in the internal complaints committee. The act states, the external member should be a person from an NGO dedicated to the cause of or the member should be well versed with issues related to sexual harassment of women at workplace. The person could also be from a legal background having expertise on the PoSH act and related matters of compliance.
Consequences of Non-Empanelment of External Member
- Without an external member, the ICC won’t be considered legitimate and hence non-empanelment of the external member could be considered no- formation of ICC which is a violation of the PoSH act.
- The government could impose fines on the company for non-compliance of PoSH Act.
- In serious cases, the business license of the venture could also be cancelled.
Eligibility Criteria for Empanelment of External Member
The empanelment of an external member requires a candidate to have the following qualities:
- The person should preferably be practising on the legal aspect of this law so that he has a sound understanding of the compliance-related matters.
- The external member must-have skills, knowledge and ability to handle cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace.
- The member should have a credible and proven record of handling such cases in their legal practice, as part of an NGO or in a previous organisation.
- The organisation should also ensure the clean record of the prospective member of ICC before their empanelment. This means he/she should not be accused of any offence or should not be under any kind of investigation.
Process of External Member Empanelment
- Ensure that the candidate meets the eligibility criteria and has all the skills of handling sexual harassment cases. Any previous experience of working with ICC in some other organisation is a plus.
- Hiring a legal expert on the position is preferred as they can also provide training of PoSH act to the remaining members of the ICC and all other employees of the organisation.
- Test the prospective member for their neutral and impartial approach towards resolving cases to facilitate unbiased and timely resolution of PoSH complaints. Ensure that the member will stay neutral, objective and someone who can’t be influenced easily during an investigation.
Author: Adv Sharlee Garg
Muds Management Private Limited
Mobile number: 91-9599653306
Email id: [email protected]
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