Disciplinary Policy

DISCIPLINARY POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT

The Disciplinary Policy provides for an open and transparent process to ensure natural justice and procedural fairness for valuer members faced with potential disciplinary action.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to set out for all valuer members; how Disciplinary Committee (“DC”) will deal with disciplinary issues which include such matters as allegations and/or complaints made about a valuer 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.

SCOPE

The Policy applies to all valuer members of the organization.

PRINCIPLES

Where a Disciplinary Committee (“DC”) has reasonable cause to believe that a valuer 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 valuer members, DC will ensure adherence to the rules of procedural fairness. This means:
1. Any valuer member must receive notice of the specific allegation and of the possible consequences should the allegation be substantiated.
2. The valuer member must be given the opportunity to be represented at, and/or bring personal support to, any disciplinary proceedings.
3. A valuer shall not deal in securities of any subject company after any time when he/it first becomes aware of the possibility of his/its association with the valuation, and in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 2015 or till the time the valuation report becomes public, whichever is earlier.
6. A valuer shall not indulge in “mandate snatching” or offering “convenience valuations” in order to cater to a company or client’s needs.
7. As an independent valuer, the valuer shall not charge success fee.
8. In any fairness opinion or independent expert opinion submitted by a valuer, if there has been a prior engagement in an unconnected transaction, the valuer shall declare the association with the company during the last five years.

CONFIDENTIALITY

A valuer shall not use or divulge to other clients or any other party any confidential information about the subject company, which has come to his/its knowledge without proper and specific authority or unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose.

OBJECTIVITY

1. The principle of objectivity imposes an obligation on the valuer not to compromise his professional or business judgement because of bias, conflict of interest or undue influence of others.
2. Some threats to objectivity arc incapable of avoidance or mitigation and where this is the case the valuer should decline the assignment. However some potential threats to objectivity may be either eliminated or effectively mitigated by safeguards. These safeguards can include appropriate disclosure of the threat to the relevant parties and obtaining their consent to proceed with the valuation assignment. 3. There must be a real opportunity for the valuer member to refute the allegation or provide an explanation. 4. There must be proper and unbiased consideration of the valuer member’s explanation. There should not be any predetermination of an outcome.

ACCOUNTABILITIES

Valuer members will comply with this policy and will ensure they seek guidance where appropriate. Valuer members will address non-performance and potential disciplinary issues in a prompt and timely manner.

PROCEDURE

Disciplinary Process

(A1) The Organisation may initiate disciplinary proceedings by issuing a show-cause notice against valuer members-
(a) based on a reference made by the Grievances Redressal Committee;
(b) based on monitoring of valuer 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.
(1)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 va to the proceedings.
(2) The orders that may be passed by the Disciplinary Committee shall include-
(a) expulsion of the valuer member;
(b) suspension of the valuer member for a certain period of time;
(c) admonishment of the valuer 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 valuer member if it has found that the valuer 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 there under, 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 7 days from passing of the said order, with one copy each being provided to each of the valuer members 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 Chairman who is independent director of the Organisation, two valuer members and one member of the committee has been nominated by the IBBI. The Appellate Panel has constituted of members having experience in the field of law and field of valuation.
(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

1. Before taking action

1. A valuer or his/its relative shall not accept gifts or hospitality which undermines or affects his independence as a valuer. Explanation.? For the purposes of this code the term ‘relative’ shall have the same meaning as defined in clause (77) of Section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013).

2.The process is instigated by an initial complaint or discovery of action:

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. If the decision is made to investigate the issues, the valuer member must be advised.

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. If the decision is made to investigate the issues, the valuer member must be advised.

3. Reporting the matter to the Committee

Once a decision to investigate a matter has been made, a preliminary interview with the valuer member will be held to outline the basis of the issue and to seek the valuer member’s explanation for what has occurred.

3.1 Issue and disposal of show cause notice

A show-cause notice will be send to valuer member for the purpose of the disciplinary proceeding and 15 days opportunity shall be provided of being heard and/ or representation. The valuer member will also be advised that the preliminary interview is not a formal disciplinary proceeding, depending on the information they provide, a disciplinary process may be instigated as a result.
1. 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.
2. If it is determined that investigation beyond the preliminary interview is warranted, the valuer member will be intimated and told that following the investigation, a further interview with the valuer member will be necessary.
3. If no further formal investigation is considered necessary, full consideration must be given to the information relating to the incident and the valuer member’s explanation.
4. If the investigation finds that potential misconduct or serious misconduct may have occurred, then formal disciplinary action may be initiated.

Formal Disciplinary Procedure

1. If an allegation or complaint is made against a valuer member, a serious incident occurs, or a valuer member fails to perform duties to the level required following performance counselling, the manager will decide whether the matter should progress further.
2. The valuer member must be intimated in writing of the specific allegation(s) or grounds for any disciplinary action being taken.
3. Committee may suspend a valuer 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.
4. The valuer member will be provided with copies of any documents on which committee intends to rely in the disciplinary investigation prior to a disciplinary proceeding and in reasonable time to consider and respond to the document(s) and seek advice if desired.
5. The valuer 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 proceedings. Reasonable time shall be allowed for the valuer member to seek advice and representation.
6. The valuer member must be available to attend proceedings. If the valuer member chooses not to be represented, they will be asked if they are prepared to continue the proceeding without representation. If they are not prepared to continue the proceeding, then it must be adjourned to allow them time to arrange representation/support.
7. All stages of the disciplinary process, from the initial proceeding to the final proceeding, should have a witness present. The committee conducting the disciplinary interviews should have a more senior valuer member of staff or other adviser present, particularly if a final written warning is to be issued or a dismissal could result.
8. The valuer 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 valuer member will be given copies of such and given adequate time to consider and respond.
9. Notes will be taken at the disciplinary proceedings to record what is said and by whom. These will not be exhaustive or verbatim but will reflect the process of the disciplinary proceeding accurately.
10. All responses, evidence and other relevant information will then be considered by the decision maker(s).
11. Any intended decision(s) and/or recommendation(s) will be communicated to the valuer member to seek their views before a final decision is made and communicated to the valuer member in writing.
12. Each warning may be for unrelated matters of misconduct.

3.2 Reporting the matter to the Committee

Once a decision to investigate a matter has been made, a preliminary interview with the valuer member will be held to outline the basis of the issue and to seek the valuer member’s explanation for what has occurred.

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

All valuer members have the right to:
1. the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness observed, this means: −the valuer 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 valuer members 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.
2. investigations and proceedings that are conducted honestly, fairly and without any biasness.
3. no undue delay in investigations and proceedings. It is the responsibility of all valuer members involved in disciplinary actions to act in good faith at all the times. Confidentiality must be respected and maintained at all times within the constraints of the need to fully investigate the matter, subject to any legal and other requirements for disclosure and consistent with the principles of natural justice.