New Delhi: Adhering to stronger corporate governance standards, state-owned BHEL has put in place a policy for whistleblowers with safeguards to protect their identity and prevent victimization.
A leading engineering and manufacturing player, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has interests in diverse areas including power, transmission, renewable energy and defence.
With the whistleblower policy, the company also meets existing regulations in this regard.
Under the policy, the whistleblower would not be subjected to "victimization" and his or her identity would not be revealed.
"Any other employee assisting in the investigation or furnishing evidence in respect of complaint shall also be protected," it said.
However, the policy makes it clear that no protection would be provided from disciplinary action in case the whistle -blower makes "false, motivated or vexatious complaint".
As part of safeguard measures, it has been suggested that "the text of the complaint should be carefully drafted so as not to give any details or clue as to the whistle blower's identity.
"However, the details of the complaint should be specific and verifiable".
Complaints should be addressed to the competent authority or audit committee chairman of the company as the case may be. Then the matter would be referred to the screening committee, which has to take a call on whether to proceed further within one week.
In instances where the complaint is against a board level executive, the same would be referred to the department of heavy industry's chief vigilance officer as BHEL comes under heavy industry and public enterprises ministry.
To ensure better corporate governance standards and transparency, the new Companies Act — whose most provisions came into force from April 1 — require companies to have a vigil mechanism for directors and employees to report genuine concerns. The listing agreement between companies and stock exchanges also has a similar provision.
The policy took effect at BHEL from September 16.