Employer is NOT providing documents and salary after leaving Comp
I had joined an organization in 2008 in Chandigarh. It was a CMMi Level 3 company at that time and now they are CMMi 5. At the time of joining the company tenure of notice period was 1 month and there were no clauses in my appointment letter like 'an employee cannot join the client of the company within 18 months of leaving the organization'. Soon after 2 years i.e. somewhere in 2010, and few months before I had left, the organization issued a new appointment letter and they forced us to accept that appointment letter. They had increased the tenure of resignation period from 1 month to 2 months and they had added clauses like 'an employee cannot join the client within 18 months of leaving the organization'. But they had not mentioned any specific company name in the appointment letter.
In 2010 I got an offer from the company for which this organization was working as a vendor. After getting the offer I resigned from the organization and I requested them to relieve me in 40 days as I have 20 paid annual leaves with me (i.e. I had server 40+20=60 days/2 months). Nobody responded on my resignation letter despite of several verbal reminders. And on 40th day when I spoke to the HR, they were ready to relieve me but they wanted me to sign an affidavit which states that I will not join a 'particular company' after getting relieved. I refused to sign that affidavit as I was not bound to sign any king of legal bond at the time of relieving. I sent an e-mail from my company e-mail address that I have submitted the assets with me (ID card etc.) to HR and I am leaving the organization today on-wards. I also mentioned in the mail to please send my relieving letter, experience letter to my mailing address and my due funds to my salary bank account number with them.
Now they are not giving me my experience letter, relieving letter and form 16 for year 2010 despite of many written e-mail requests to them. They have not paid me salary for the 40 days even.
My questions are:
1. Can an employer refuse to provide relieving letter/experience letter/salary/Form 16 in such case?
2. Can I file a legal case on the employer to get these documents and my remaining salary?
3. Can an employer mention me as ‘absconded’ when other companies do my background verification now?
4. If I can file a legal case, then what is the probability of winning this case?
5. How much this case would cost to me (approx.) I know this depends on lawyer to lawyer but still any rough idea?
6. They have not given my salary for the 40 days period (during resignation period approx. Rs 40,000). How much damage I can claim, for the money and mental harassment caused?
7 Currently I am working in Bangalore. Previous company was in Chandigarh. Can I file a case in Bangalore/or can I get this case transferred after filing it in Chandigarh?
8. Will this case have any kind of negative impact on my carrier?
9. Where I can file the case (in which court)?
10. The same situation happened with another 15-20 employees. Is it good idea to file a common case along with them or I should file a separate case?
11. What type of cases I can file on them? (Like mental harassment, damage caused etc.)
Asked in Labour from Bangalore, Karnataka