Under Indian Labour Law
1) When an employee is alleged to have committed misconduct, you will charge sheet him to face the inquiry to ascertain the truth. You will be appointing an officer of your own organization or an outside consultant as Enquiry Officer. So what are the duties and powers of enquiry officer. Some of the outside consultants threaten management with dire consequences and interfere in several aspects of enquiry which is totally wrong. Hence the following clarification is given for the benefit of all HR Managers.
Duties and powers of enquiry officer
2) While appointing the Enquiry Officer you should be clearly mentioning in the letter of appointment that he has to conduct the enquiry in respect of the charge sheet issued and submit his report of findings. Please note that his duties are confined to (a)conducting the enquiry as per the chargesheet issued and (b)submit the report of findings. To conduct the enquiry; he has the power to (a) summon the identified witnesses to appear before him and depose or to call for the(b) production of documents relevant to the enquiry. Except the above he does not have any powers to give any other orders to the management.
3) He does not have powers to order payment of subsistence allowance or to determine the quantum of subsistence allowance.
4) He does not have powers to order payment of salary,incentive, perks or allowance to chargesheeted employee.
5) He does not have powers to order transfer of chargesheeted employee.
6) He does not have powers to determine the quantum of punishment.
7) He does not have powers to order suspension of any employee or to revoke the suspension.
8) He does not have powers to order releasing of promotion which is withheld due to chargesheet.
9) He does not have powers to order releasing of non statutory benefits which are withheld due to chargesheet.
The aggrieved employee or his union can rise these issues before the competent authority in labour department or in labour court but enquiry officer should not be allowed to dictate terms to management.