Dear Sir:

My previous employer is withholding my academic certificates and PF for the past 7 years and demanding money to release them.

My story is as follows: I joined a company in 2002 in Hyderabad. They provided me with training and made me sign a bond, which states I am supposed to serve the company for a period of 2 years after successful completion of training. I surrendered my original academic certificates (SSC and Intermediate) during that time. As per the terms in the bond, I served the company for 2 years, but did not collect my certificates because I was not planning to leave the company. Later in the year 2004, the employer made me sign another bond with a nominal pay hike of Rs. 1500 or 2000/- per month according to which I cannot leave the company for a period of 2 years and in case of breach of contract, I have to pay the company Rs. 30,000/- After a few months, they started harassing me with all kinds of stuff, making me take up more work, unnecessarily issuing paycuts, etc. I could not tolerate their harassment and informed the then HR that I could not bear the harassment anymore and wanted to leave, but there was no proper response from him. In mid 2006, I decided to leave and finally quit the company without submitting a resignation letter and joined another company.

After a year or two, I went to my previous employer and asked them to release my certificates and PF. They demanded me the money for breach of contract (Rs. 30,000 plus the interest for these years). I was not ready to pay the money because I did not want to pay them for no fault of mine (also I did not have that money). I tried multiple times and requested them to give my certificates back, but to no avail. I finally stopped going there because I could not afford to go off work for any more days (also, there was no urgent requirement of certificates at that time). Again, in 2010, I contacted them and asked them to release my certificates as well as PF but they did not do so and were demanding the money along with interest, which I was not ready to pay them because I could not afford to pay them that much.

Now, it has almost been 7 years they are still withholding my certificates and PF and I want my certificates and PF back now. I have a few queries here:

1. Is the employment bond legally valid?

2. Does an employer have the right to withhold the original certificates and PF of an employee?

3. Is there any way to withdraw my PF without the intervention of the ex-employer.

Kindly advise me on the ways to get my certificates and PF back.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Raj

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Raj,
In my opinion, in reality they do not want to implement the bond otherwise during this period they must have liquidated the bond or have moved to court for implementing the terms of bond. Bond was just a instrument to harass the employee.
As far as Original Certificates and P F are concerned, there is alternative. You can apply and obtain duplicate copy of certificates from the respective Board/University.
PF: If you have PF a/c with current employer, then apply for transfer of PF amounts otherwise apply for withdrawal while getting form attested from other authorities.
All the best
V K Gupta

From India, Panipat
Sreeram70
37
Manager

Dear Mr Raj, it appears from your posting that you are from Hyderabad, if yes i can help you out in getting the docs and resolve the other issues, but as admitted by you that you have left the company with out proper documentation, i feel this is your mistake., any way can you provide the details of the company and the location of your office., cause i think the only way to get your docs and settle the matter is trough a proper channel. will ensure you that this will happen with no cost, you need not spend your time for it. it is a very clear case. you can contact me on 9010352384 or can mail your details at ,
Regards
JSR

From India, Hyderabad
Thank you Mr. Gupta and Mr. Sriram. I really appreciate your most valuable suggestions here. Mr. Sriram, I will contact you with all the details shortly.
From India, Hyderabad
[email protected]
44
Manager Operations

......addition to the valuable suggestion of my dear friends, I would like to state that, what is about your PF Account as you are telling, 7 years already left and you had not applied for withdrawaled.
Did you transferred after changing your Employer? If no, it may be expired.

From India
Dear Pkmbgr,
It is to inform you that PF account never expires until amount is withdrawn. However, recently PF department has made some amendment to make account inactive if there is no transaction for 3 years.
OK...
V K Gupta

From India, Panipat
In your case your First Bond was valid when you completed your training. After completion of that bond period, company can not press you to sign another bond for giving annual increment. If they gave you annual increment it is very clear that they were satisfied with your performance. So no question of another bond.
Anyhow it happened, do you have any communication proof when you contacted your previous HR for harassment. Your mistake is that you have delayed the issue for very long time. Withholding your academic certificate as a security was valid only for your first Bond only. After that it is clear case of their malafied intension. Anyhow you may contact your labour court or a lawyer and file a claim for harassment.
M K Batra

From India, Kharar
[email protected]
44
Manager Operations

Thanks Mr. Gupta,
May I have an idea about the difference between, Efpired Account and Inactive account for my personal onowledge. Can some one avail the PF benifit from an Inactive Account after 3 years. View please....

From India
Dear Mr Pkmbgr
Expired is equal to dead. PF accounts having no deposit of contribution for 36 months continuously will become inactive and after 36 months, no interest will be credited to the account. This does not mean that working of benefits will be stopped. You may have video clip on EPFO website under heading Latest News regarding this. However, loss of interest in itself is big loss.
Thanks
V K gupta

From India, Panipat
[email protected]
44
Manager Operations

Dear Mr. Gupta,
Thanks for your Information.
But I have another query In this regard:
1-If an Employer submits Form 10 to PF Office as the details of left Employee, then what happen?
Whether the Interest calculation of his/her Accounts will be stoped?
and
2-If an Employer does not submit Form 10 to PF Office as the details of left Employee, then what happen?
Whether it will stay in active position till submition of Annual Return?
Is the second a offence?
Please, Guide.

From India

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