CEV INTEGRAL APPRAISERS FOUNDATION
The Disciplinary Policy provides for an open and transparent process to ensure natural justice and procedural fairness for members faced with potential disciplinary action.
The purpose of this policy is to set out for all members; how Disciplinary Committee (“DC”) will deal with disciplinary issues which include such matters as allegations and/or complaints made about a member of staff, a breach or breaches of RVO’s policies and procedures including the Code of Conduct and/or non-performance of duties and by laws.
Where a process for dealing with any of these matters is prescribed in an employment agreement, the provisions of that employment agreement will apply in conjunction with this policy.
The Policy applies to all members of the organization.
Where a Disciplinary Committee (“DC”) has reasonable cause to believe that a member has acted inappropriately, failed to meet expected standards of performance, breached policies or procedures, including the Code of Conduct, formal disciplinary procedures may be invoked. Any decision to take formal disciplinary action is not taken lightly.
In addressing disciplinary matters with members, DC will ensure adherence to the rules of procedural fairness. This means:
Any member must receive notice of the specific allegation and of the possible consequences should the allegation be substantiated.
The member must be given the opportunity to be represented at, and/or bring personal support to, any meetings.
There must be a real opportunity for the member to refute the allegation or provide an explanation.
There must be proper and unbiased consideration of the member’s explanation. There should not be any predetermination of an outcome.
Members will comply with this policy and will ensure they seek guidance where appropriate. Members will address non-performance and potential disciplinary issues in a prompt and timely manner.
(A1) The Organisation may initiate disciplinary proceedings by issuing a show-cause notice against members-
(a) based on a reference made by the Grievances Redressal Committee;
(b) based on monitoring of members;
(c) following the directions given by the authority or any court of law; or
(d) suo moto, based on any information received by it.
The Disciplinary Policy of the Organization has provided the following –
(a) the manner in which the Disciplinary Committee may ascertain facts;
(b) the issue of show cause notice based on the facts;
(c) disposal of show-cause notice by a reasoned order, following principles of natural justice;
(d) TIMELINES FOR DIFFERENT STAGES OF DISPOSAL OF SHOW CAUSE NOTICE; AND
(e) rights and obligations of the parties to the proceedings.
(2) The orders that may be passed by the Disciplinary Committee shall include-
(a) expulsion of the member;
(b) suspension of the member for a certain period of time;
(c) admonishment of the member;
(d) imposition of monetary penalty;
(e) reference of the matter to the authority, which may include, in appropriate cases, recommendation of the amount of restitution or compensation that may be enforced by the authority; and
(f) directions relating to costs.
(3) The Disciplinary Committee may pass an order for expulsion of a member if it has found that the member has committed-
(a) an offence under any law for the time being in force, punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding six months, or an offence involving moral turpitude;
(b) a gross violation of the Act, rules, regulations and guidelines issued thereunder, bye-laws or directions given by the Governing Board which renders him not a fit and proper person to continue acting as a registered valuer.
(4) Any order passed by the Disciplinary Committee shall be placed on the website of the Organisation within seven days from passing of the said order, with one copy each being provided to each of the parties to the proceeding.
(5) Monetary penalty received by the Organisation under the orders of the Disciplinary Committee shall be used for the professional development.
(A2) The Governing Board shall constitute an Appellate Panel consisting of one independent director of the Organisation, one member each from amongst the persons of eminence having experience in the field of law and field of valuation, and one member nominated by the authority.
(2) Any person aggrieved of an order of the Disciplinary Committee may prefer an appeal before the Appellate Panel within thirty days from the receipt of a copy of the final order.
(3) The Appellate Panel shall dispose of the appeal in the manner it deems expedient, within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal.
The key requirements of the disciplinary process are outlined below but will vary depending on the nature of the situation.
Prior to beginning formal disciplinary action it may be appropriate to conduct a preliminary inquiry and investigation to determine if there are grounds to instigate a disciplinary process.
Preliminary inquiry and investigation process
Before taking action
Assess whether the conduct complained of is sufficiently serious to require formal action or whether an informal discussion may be sufficient. Making this assessment may require some preliminary investigation with the member or witnesses.
The process is instigated by an initial complaint or discovery of action WHICH IS ADVISED TO MANAGEMENT.
Once the committee has been notified of the complaint, incident or allegation and a decision as to whether an investigation is needed, GUIDANCE should be sought as required.
If the decision is that the matter is frivolous, vexatious or otherwise lacking in substance, and no further action is warranted, a note will be made on management files as to the reason why the matter was not taken further.
If warranted, the appropriate manager or the General Manager will be advised of concerns and will assess what, if any, further action needs to be taken.
If the decision is made to investigate the issues, the member must be advised.
Reporting the matter to the Committee
Once a decision to investigate a matter has been made, a preliminary interview with the member will be held to outline the basis of the issue and to seek the member’s explanation for what has occurred.
A show cause notice will be send to member for the purpose of the meeting and reasonable time to provide opportunity of being heard and/ or representation. The member will also be advised that, while the preliminary interview is not a formal disciplinary meeting, depending on the information they provide, a disciplinary process may be instigated as a result.
If, following the preliminary interview, the decision is that the matter is frivolous, vexatious or otherwise lacking in substance, no further action is warranted and a note made as to the reason why the matter was not taken further.
If it is determined that investigation beyond the preliminary interview is warranted, the member will be intimated and told that following the investigation, a further interview with the member will be necessary.
If no further formal investigation is considered necessary, full consideration must be given to the information relating to the incident and the member’s explanation.
If the investigation finds that potential misconduct or serious misconduct may have occurred, then formal disciplinary action may be initiated.
Formal Disciplinary Procedure
If an allegation or complaint is made against a member, a serious incident occurs, or a member fails to perform duties to the level required following performance counselling, the manager will decide whether the matter should progress further.
The member must be intimated in writing of the specific allegation(s) or grounds for any disciplinary action being taken.
Committee may suspend a member while an investigation is undertaken if it considers the allegation(s) to be of a sufficiently serious nature, or there are grounds to justify the suspension. (SEE NOTES ON SUSPENSIONS).
The member will be provided with copies of any documents on which committee intends to rely in the disciplinary investigation prior to a disciplinary meeting and in reasonable time to consider and respond to the document(s) and seek advice if desired.
The member will be advised of their further opportunity to seek independent advice and their right to have their representative or support person at any disciplinary meetings. Reasonable time shall be allowed for the member to seek advice and representation.
The member must be available to attend meetings. If the member chooses not to be represented, they will be asked if they are prepared to continue the meeting without representation. If they are not prepared to continue the meeting, then it must be adjourned to allow them time to arrange representation/support.
All stages of the disciplinary process, from the initial meeting to the final meeting, should have a witness present. The committee conducting the disciplinary interviews should have a more senior member of staff or other advisor present, particularly if a final written warning is to be issued or a dismissal could result.
The member will be advised of any other evidence, grounds for further investigation or documentation that comes to hand during the course of the investigation. The member will be given copies of such and given adequate time to consider and respond.
Notes will be taken at the meetings to record what is said and by whom. These will not be exhaustive or verbatim but will reflect the process of the meeting accurately.
All responses, evidence and other relevant information will then be considered by the decision maker(s).
Any intended decision(s) and/or recommendation(s) will be communicated to the member to seek their views before a final decision is made and communicated to the member in writing.
Each warning may be for unrelated matters of misconduct.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
All persons have the right to:
have the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness observed, this means:
the member who is the subject of concern must be informed of all the allegations in relation to his/her behaviour
the employee must be provided with the opportunity to put forward their case
all parties must have the right to be heard
all relevant submissions and evidence must be considered
irrelevant matters must not be taken into account
the decision-maker must be impartial, fair and just
investigations and proceedings that are conducted honestly, fairly and without any biasness
no undue delay in investigations and proceedings.
It is the responsibility of all parties involved in counselling or disciplinary action to participate fully in the resolution process in good faith. Confidentiality must be respected and maintained at all times within the constraints of the need to fully investigate the matter, subject to any legal requirements for disclosure and consistent with the principles of natural justice.
SURRENDER OF MEMBERSHIP AND EXPULSION FROM MEMBERSHIP
Temporary Surrender of Membership
A (1) A member shall make an application for temporary surrender of his membership of the Organisation at least thirty days before he-
(a) becomes a person not resident in India;
(b) takes up employment; or
(c) starts any business, except as specifically permitted under the Code of Conduct;
and upon acceptance of such temporary surrender and on completion of thirty days from the date of application for temporary surrender, the name of the member shall be temporarily struck from the registers of the Organisation, and the same shall be intimated to the authority.
(2) No application for temporarily surrender of membership of the Organisation shall be accepted if –
(a) there is a grievance or disciplinary proceeding pending against the member before the Organisation or the authority, and he has not given an undertaking to cooperate in such proceeding; or
(b) the member has been appointed as a registered valuer for a process under the Companies Act, 2013, and the appointment of another registered valuer may be detrimental to such process.
(3) A member may make an application to revive his temporarily surrendered membership when the conditions for temporary surrender as provided in sub-clause (1) cease to be applicable, and upon acceptance of the application for revival, the name of the member shall be re-inserted in the register of the Organisation, and the same shall be intimated to the authority.
Surrender of Membership
B (1) A member who wishes to surrender his membership of the Organisation may do so by submitting an application for surrender of his membership.
(2) Upon acceptance of such surrender of his membership, and completion of thirty days from the date of such acceptance, the name of the member shall be struck from the registers of the Organisation, and the same shall be intimated to the authority.
Any fee that is due to the Organisation from a member surrendering his membership shall be cleared prior to his name being struck from the registers of the Organisation.
The Organisation may refuse to accept the surrender of membership by any member if –
(a) there is any grievance or disciplinary proceeding pending against the member before the Organisation or the authority; or
(b) the member has been appointed as a registered valuer process under the Companies Act, 2013, and the appointment of another registered valuer may be detrimental to such process.
Expulsion from Membership
A member shall be expelled by the Organisation–
(a) if he becomes ineligible to be enrolled under bye-law 9;
(b) on expiry of thirty days from the order of the Disciplinary Committee, unless set aside or stayed by the Appellate Panel;
(c) upon non-payment of membership fee despite at least two notices served in writing;
(d) upon the cancellation of his certificate of registration by the authority;
(e) upon the order of any court of law.