• Unlawful Termination

I'm designated as Area Business Manager in MNC (Healthcare with 300 employee in India) & 14 Sales Executive (Co. Pay Roll) reports to me. Under Whistle blow policy I've informed HR Director about wrong & non compliant practices where higher management is involved with all documentary evidences. Within 10 days MD & HR came to my city & started interrogating me on false allegation against me without any information so I minute that incidence with all hypothetical allegations. Then they send ticket to come down to HO without any mail invitation & agenda. I went & they suggest me to stop all investigations & destroy all evidences, I resist so they forced me to resign. I didn't resign & came back. They immediately cancelled my return ticket & locked my Outlook express.
Reason that in Noncompliant job MD & his Director was involved.

Same evening on 7th MAR'14 they send termination letter on my personal mail id.  Matter of letter is here "Refer to the discussions you had today at Head Office. Your services are being terminated with immediate effect. You were requested to handover all company assets to your supervisor. You willfully and knowingly left the office without handing over company assets. When called and requested to return to the office to return assets you again refused and are returning to your Home town. We are therefore constrained to file an official complaint for the recovery of our company assets."

Next day 8th Mar'14 I replied on same mail & denied to accept Termination without citing any reason. I wrote following, “ I do not accept this termination & keeping in view the procedural lapsation made herein during issuance of my termination letter. I hereby request you kindly withdraw this letter of termination of services which has been issued wrongfully & illegally immediately, failing which I'll be compelled to take shelter of relevant regulatory as well as judicial bodies to seek justice from all ends. Moreover request you kindly take note of the fact that I've not returned the company assets which are in my custody since the termination letter is itself null & vide. Awaiting your kind cooperation & respond in this regards.”

1 week later 14th Mar'14 HR replied “An internal office note to this effect was circulated for termination of the relationship in compliance with the requirement of Clause of Severance. It is the intention of communicating this decision that you’ve been flown to HO to meet your supervisor. The order passed by the management in effecting separation of relationship in a simplicitor manner and it’s appropriate and based on office note approved by management in this behalf 2 days earlier.” ( I didn't get any such office note).

Based on above reply I expressed them to return IT assets & replied “I'll handover all said assets under protest & without prejudice to my rights & contentions”.  I expressed my Grievances  relating  to  illegal  termination  &  request  for  a  fair  opportunity of  defense.  I wrote to HR that“you  have  mentioned  that  I  have  been  terminated  as  per  the  provisions  of  Severance Clause  of  my  appointment  letter. Severance Clause of my appointment letter states as follows:

"Your services  can  be  terminated  by  the  Company  by  giving  you  two  months  notice  or  two  months’  salary  in  lieu  of  notice  period.  Similarly,  in  the  event  of  your  resignation,  you  shall  give  two  months  notice  or  salary  in  lieu  of  two  months  notice  period.  You  shall  not  be  entitled  to  adjust  your  pending  leave / salary  in  lieu  with  the  notice  period  unless  so  permitted  by  the  Company. Unless  otherwise  directed  by  the  Company, you  will  continue  to  discharge  your  duties  during  the  entire  notice  period.  Your resignation shall not be effective unless accepted.
If  at  any  time  in  the  opinion  of  the  Company,  which  is  final  in  this  matter,  you  are  insolvent  or  found  guilty  of  dishonesty,  disobedience,  disorderly  behavior,  negligence,  indiscipline,  absent  from  duty  without  prior  permission,  committing  a  breach  of  any  of  the  terms,  conditions  and  stipulations  contained  in  the  appointment  letter  and  on  your    part  to  be  observed  and  performed  or  in  violation  of  one  or  more  terms  of  the  said  letter  ,  or  any  other  conduct  considered  by  the  Company  detrimental  to  its  interests  ,  your services  are  liable  to  be  terminated  forthwith,  without  any  notice / salary  in  lieu  of  notice  period,  without  prejudice  to  any  other  action,  rights  or  remedies  available  at  law.

As  per  paragraph  (1)  of  Severance Clause of  the  referred  appointment  letter  dated  it  has  been  categorically  mentioned  that  the  Company  is  free  to  terminate  me  at  any  point  of  time  subject  to  two  months  prior  notice.
As  per  paragraph (2) of Severance Clause of  such  appointment  letter  it  has  been  mentioned  that  the  Company  is  at  liberty  to  terminate  upon  establishment  of  the  fact  that  there  has  been  dishonesty,  disobedience,  disorderly  behavior,  negligence,  indiscipline,  absent  from  duty  without  prior  permission,  committing  a  breach  of  any  of  the  terms,  conditions  and  stipulations  etc  ,  at  any  point  of  time."

I Replied to HR:
"It  is  pertinent  to  mention  here  that  neither  any  two  months  prior  notice was  served  upon  me,  nor  any  allegation  as  mentioned  in  paragraph  no. (2)  of Severance clause   was  levied  ,  communicated  or  established  upon.
In  case  of  allegations  regarding  dishonesty,  disobedience,  disorderly  behavior,  negligence,  indiscipline,  absent  from  duty  without  prior  permission,  committing  a  breach  of  any  of  the  terms,  conditions  and  stipulations  if  any,  it is  a  settled  point  of  law  that  such  allegations  ought  to  have  been  communicated  to  the  person  against  whom  they  are  made  and  such  person  should  get  a  fair  chance  to  defend  himself.

I  beg  to  state  that  no  such  allegations  were  ever  communicated  to  me.  Thus  we  can  conclude  that  there  are  no  such  allegations.  I was illegally and arbitrarily terminated. 
I  would  also  like  to  state  that  I  have  been  forced  by  the  Company  to   surrender  my  laptop  , phone  and  i-pad  which  were  given  to  me  by  the  Company  containing  all  relevant  documents    during  my  service. I  have  returned  them  without  any  prejudice  to  and  reserving  my  rights. In  these  circumstances  you  are  hereby  requested  to  inform  me  that  under  which  provision  of  Severance clause of  my  appointment  , I  was  terminated.”
HR Replied on this on 28th Mar'14 follows:

“Please note that Severance Clause para 1 provides for termination by giving 2 month notice or 2 month salary in lieu of notice period. This clause is very specific. There is no requirement to give you 2 month notice before termination of services nor do you have any RIGHT to hearing any manner. You’re advised not to impute such types of allegations in your letter. Your notice pay will be release with full & final settlement. “  
Can HR send this kind of termination letter without any show cause, domestic enquiry, and opportunity to defend the allegations?
How Can I challenge them in Civil Court? What should I do now? Please help me with your expertise advice.
What are the Chances of winning this case & How much time it will take to resolve?
Registered HO is in Gurgaon & Regional Office is in Kolkata, although Kolkata Office is not registered under Shop & establishment act & illegally carried out official procedures. 

Tarun Adhikari
Asked 4 years ago in Labour from Kolkata, West Bengal
Challenge the illegal termination of services and letter of termination. seek reinstatement with all consequential dues and benefits. Feel free to call for any clarifications.
S.P. Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
703 Answers
13 Consultations

4.7 on 5.0

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