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Procedure of Functioning

1) Procedures to be followed in recording a complaint.

  • Use a standard format for the recording of complaints --if there has been a series of incidents, seek information about all previous incidents; collect evidence like messages, emails and any other relevant documents, including itemised call records.
  • Reduce oral complaints to writing using the standard format--ensure that the complaint is as far as possible in the words of the complainant. Ensure that all documents submitted by the complainant are authenticated on every page, countersigned by the member of the ICC who has recorded/ received the complaint.

2) Development of a standard procedure for the constitution of Inquiry Committee, designation of Inquiry Officer, and a clear definition of its role, responsibilities, and powers.

  • Duties of the Chief Inquiry Officer: supply of the complaint and other documents to the respondent; the issue of summons to witnesses; conduct of meetings of the Inquiry Committee, and the adoption of minutes; correspondence with the complainant, respondent, witnesses and officials. b. Roles and responsibilities of other members of the Inquiry Committee, including the NGO representative.

3) Granting interim relief to complainants: addressing requests for transfer, leave, medical care/leave, protections against victimisation.

4) Implementation of guarantees of confidentiality and principles of natural justice, including serving restraint orders, and interim disciplinary action.

5) Procedures to be followed in formal enquiry:

  • Order and manner of inquiry: the necessity of adopting a mode of inquiry whereby the respondent has a full opportunity to understand the case being made out against him before he presents his defence.
  • Dealing with depositions: verbatim vs. sense-based reduction of oral depositions. Use of questions and answers. Administration of an oath of confidentiality, and signatures on attendance sheets. The necessity of the deposition being explained to the witness in a language s/he can understand, and the use of translation/interpretation. Also, the need for the authentication of depositions (preferably on the same day) by all witnesses, particularly the respondent.
  • How to summon and interview official witnesses and access official records. Procedures for the cross-examination of the parties and their witnesses, modulated by the guiding principles of gender-sensitivity and noncoercion. Supply of authenticated and anonymised depositions to both parties.

6) How to write an enquiry report: The need to address all the aspects of evidence, and depositions with regard to the complaint as well as procedural objections.

7) Protocols for submitting an enquiry report.