As per good governance and self-regulatory organisation Yog Dhyan Foundation (YDF) hereby establishes a Whistle Blower policy for the Trustees and its management, employees, associates, staff (including consultants and volunteers) to report genuine concerns in such manner as may be prescribed.
Such a Whistle Blower shall provide for adequate safeguards against victimization of persons who use such mechanism and also make provision for direct access to the chairperson of the Whistle Blower Committee in appropriate or exceptional cases.
The Whistle Blower aims to provide a channel to the stake holders to report genuine concerns about unethical behaviour, actual or suspected fraud or violation of the Trust’s Rules & policies.
The Trust is committed to adhere to the highest standards of ethical, moral and legal conduct of business operations and in order to maintain these standards, the Trust encourages its employees who have genuine concerns about suspected misconduct to come forward and express these concerns without fear of punishment or unfair treatment.
This neither releases employees from their duty of confidentiality in the course of their work nor can it be used as a route for raising malicious or unfounded allegations about a personal situation.
VIGILANCE OFFICER/VIGILANCE COMMITTEE
The Trust shall have a person or Committee of persons, nominated/appointed to receive “Protected Disclosures” from Whistle Blower, maintaining records thereof, placing the same before the Whistle Blower Committee for its disposal and informing the result thereof.
The Policy is an extension of the Code of Conduct for Trustees & Senior Management Personnel and covers disclosure of any unethical and improper or malpractices and events which have taken place/ suspected to take place involving:
- Breach of the Trust’s Rules & Policies
- Breach of Business Integrity and Ethics
- Breach of terms and conditions of employment and rules thereof
- Intentional Financial irregularities, including fraud, or suspected fraud
- Deliberate violation of laws/regulations
- Gross or Wilful Negligence causing substantial and specific danger to health, safety and environment
- Manipulation of Trust data/records
- Pilferation of confidential/propriety information
- Gross Wastage/misappropriation of Trust funds/assets
All Trustees and Employees of the Trust are eligible to make Protected Disclosures under the Policy in relation to matters concerning the Trust.
All Protected Disclosures should be reported in writing by the complainant as soon as possible, not later than 30 days after he/she becomes aware of the same and should either be typed or written in a legible handwriting in English.
The Protected Disclosure should be submitted under a covering letter signed by the complainant in a closed and secured envelope and should be super scribed as “Protected disclosure under the Whistle Blower policy”. If the complaint is not super scribed and closed as mentioned above, the protected disclosure will be dealt with as if a normal disclosure.
All Protected Disclosures should be addressed to the Vigilance Officer of the Trust or to the Chairman of the Whistle Blower Committee in exceptional cases.
The contact details of the Vigilance Officer are as under:-
Name and Address – _____________
In order to protect the identity of the complainant, the Vigilance Officer will not issue any acknowledgement to the complainants and they are not advised neither to write their name / address on the envelope nor enter into any further correspondence with the Vigilance Officer.
Anonymous / Pseudonymous disclosure shall not be entertained by the Vigilance Officer.
On receipt of the protected disclosure the Vigilance Officer shall detach the covering letter bearing the identity of the complainant and process only the Protected Disclosure.
All “Protected Disclosures” under this policy will be recorded and thoroughly investigated. The Vigilance Officer will carry out an investigation either himself/herself or by involving any other Officer of the Trust/ Committee constituted for the same /an outside agency before referring the matter to the Whistle Blower Committee of the Trust.
The Whistle Blower Committee, if deems fit, may call for further information or particulars from the complainant and at its discretion, consider involving any other/additional Officer of the Trust and/or Committee and/ or an outside agency for the purpose of investigation.
The investigation by itself would not tantamount to an accusation and is to be treated as a neutral fact finding process.
The investigation shall be completed normally within 90 days of the receipt of the protected disclosure and is extendable by such period as the Whistle Blower Committee deems fit.
Any member of the Whistle Blower Committee or other officer having any conflict of interest with the matter shall disclose his/her concern
/interest forthwith and shall not deal with the matter.
DECISION AND REPORTING
If an investigation leads to a conclusion that an improper or unethical act has been committed, the Chairman of the Whistle Blower Committee shall recommend to the Board of Trustees of the Trust to take such disciplinary or corrective action as it may deem fit.
Any disciplinary or corrective action initiated against the “Concerned Person(s)” as a result of the findings of an investigation pursuant to this Policy shall adhere to the applicable personnel or staff conduct and disciplinary procedures.
A quarterly report with number of complaints received under the Policy and their outcome shall be placed before the Whistle Blower Committee and the Board.
A complainant who makes false allegations of unethical & improper practices or about alleged wrongful conduct of the “Concerned Person(s)” to the Vigilance Officer or the Whistle Blower Committee shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the rules, procedures and policies of the Trust.
The complainant, Vigilance Officer, Members of Whistle Blower Committee, the Subject and everybody involved in the process shall, maintain confidentiality of all matters under this Policy, discuss only to the extent or with those persons as required under this policy for completing the process of investigations and keep the papers in safe custody.
No unfair treatment will be meted out to a Complainant by virtue of his/ her having reported a Protected Disclosure under this policy. Adequate safeguards against victimisation of complainants shall be provided. The Trust will take steps to minimize difficulties, which the complainant may experience as a result of making the Protected Disclosure.
The identity of the Complainant shall be kept confidential to the extent possible and permitted under law. Any other employee assisting in the said investigation shall also be protected to the same extent as the Complainant.
While it will be ensured that genuine Complainants are accorded complete protection from any kind of unfair treatment as herein set out, any abuse of this protection will warrant disciplinary action.
Protection under this Policy would not mean protection from disciplinary action arising out of false or bogus allegations made by a Complainant knowing it to be false or bogus or with a mala fide intention.
Complainants, who make any Protected Disclosures, which have been subsequently found to be mala fide, frivolous or malicious, shall be liable to be prosecuted.
ACCESS TO CHAIRMAN OF THE WHISTLE BLOWER COMMITTEE
The Complainant shall have right to access Chairman of the Whistle Blower Committee directly in exceptional cases and the Chairman of the Whistle Blower Committee is authorized to prescribe suitable directions in this regard.
Trustees and Employees shall be informed of the Policy by publishing on the notice board.
RETENTION OF DOCUMENTS
All Protected disclosures in writing or documented along with the results of Investigation relating thereto, shall be retained by the Trust for a period of 5 (five) years or such other period as specified by any other law in force, whichever is more.
The Trust reserves its right to amend or modify this Policy in whole or in part, at any time without assigning any reason whatsoever. However, no such amendment or modification will be binding on the Trustees and employees unless the same is not communicated in the manner described as above.