1. General commitment
    1. Neeti Niyaman (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Firm’) is committed to conducting its business and affairs in an honest and ethical manner and maintains a zero-tolerance approach to bribery, corruption and unfair practices. The Firm is committed to act professionally, fairly and with integrity in all its business dealings and relationships.
  2. Application and purpose of this Policy
    1. This policy applies to all partners, lawyers, consultants and staff (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary) or any other person associated with the Firm.
    2. The purpose of this policy is to set out the Firm’s responsibilities and the responsibilities of those working for the Firm, in observing and upholding the Firm’s position on bribery, corruption and unfair practices, and provide information and guidance to those working for the Firm on how to recognise and deal with bribery and corruption issues.
  3. Regulation and legislation
    1. In developing and implementing its anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy, the Firm is committed to complying with the standards of professional conduct laid down in Bar Council of India Rules, the provisions of Advocates Act 1961, the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and with all current and future legislation and associated codes of practice.
  4. What is Bribery?
    1. A bribe is generally defined as a reward or inducement provided, promised or offered, whether in monetary terms or otherwise, in order to gain any undue advantage, whether personal, contractual, commercial or regulatory.
  5. What is contrary to the Policy?
    1. The following is a non-exhaustive list of what is not acceptable under this policy:
      • give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given;
      • give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality to a government official, agent or representative to ‘facilitate’ or expedite a routine procedure;
      • accept payment from a third party that you know or suspect is offered with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them;
      • accept a gift or hospitality from a third party that you know or suspect is offered or provided with an expectation that a business advantage will be provided by the Firm in return;
      • threaten or retaliate against another worker who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy; or
      • engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
  6. Gifts and Hospitality
    1. Normal and appropriate hospitality, whether given and received, to or from third parties, is acceptable in the following circumstances:-
      • it is not made with the intention of influencing any party to obtain or retain business (or a business advantage) or to reward the provision or retention of business (or a business advantage) or in explicit or implicit exchange for benefits; and
      • it complies with local law; and
      • it is given in the name of the Firm; and
      • it does not include cash, gift certificates, vouchers or similar; and
      • it is appropriate in the circumstances (e.g. a small seasonal gift); and
      • it is of an appropriate type and value taking into account the reason for the gift; and
      • it is given openly.
    2. In all circumstances, the gift or hospitality should be reasonable and justifiable and the intention behind the gift should always be considered. This policy does not preclude the receipt of gifts from clients as an expression of appreciation for the services provided. Such gifts are acceptable as long as you are satisfied that they are proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances. Any concerns you have must be discussed with the Partners. Gifts of a value in excess of INR 1000 must be disclosed to the reporting Partners at all times. Any gifts received from suppliers / clients must always be disclosed to the reporting Partners.
  7. Your Responsibilities
    1. Each person engaged by or on behalf of the Firm, whether as a member of staff or agent, permanent or as a consultant, part time or full time, must:
      • read, understand and comply with this policy;
      • avoid any activity that might lead to or suggest a breach of this policy;
      • notify the reporting Partners as soon as possible if you believe a breach of this policy has occurred;
      • be aware and note that any person who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal/disassociation for gross misconduct;
      • declare and keep a written record of all hospitality or gifts accepted or offered;
      • ensure that all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties are submitted in the proper manner and should specifically record the reason for the expenditure;
      • ensure that all accounts, invoices, memoranda and other documents and records relating to your dealings with third parties, such as clients, suppliers and business contacts are prepared and maintained with total accuracy and completeness. There must be no accounts etc. kept “off the record”;
      • raise your concerns about any issue or suspicion you may have at the earliest opportunity;
      • tell your reporting Partners as soon as possible if you are offered a bribe or become a victim of bribery or corruption or believe you may be about to become a victim.
  8. Record-keeping
    1. The Firm must keep financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reasons for making payments to third parties. Business development expenses should be faithfully recorded under appropriate heads.
  9. Protection
    1. The Firm encourages openness and will support anyone who raises, in good faith, genuine concerns under this policy even if they turn out to be mistaken. The Firm is committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or because of reporting in good faith their suspicion that an actual or potential bribery or other corruption offence has taken place, or may take place in the future. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform the reporting Partners immediately.
  10. Implementing the Policy
    1. Ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the Partners. This policy is not part of any contract of employment, retainership or partnership agreement and may be changed at any time. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, it is a requirement of the Firm that all lawyers, employees and Partners comply with this policy.
    2. Every member of the Firm will receive a copy of this policy and it will be available on request to any client. A copy of the policy will be included in the Firm’s website.
  11. Training Plan
    1. The Firm will identify needs and draw up a plan to address these as appropriate to their responsibilities. The plan will include details of the sort of training that will be provided, who will be trained, when training will be provided and who is responsible for ensuring that training is delivered. You will be informed of this policy and training plan.