Hi my company has terminated me for a misconduct? But I am wondering that if I take a legal action against the company can the company counter attack me and arrest me for my misconduct?

I shall explain what happened. I work for a BPO. On verbal guidance and assurances from some seniors I and a few of my friends indulged in some malpractices which benefited me (and others) with incentives for past 3 months. I may have earned incentives to the amount of Rs.15000 when I was terminated. I understand that this company did not follow the legal formalities laid down by the industries act before terminating me and never told me about my rights to question the termination.

I was only one of those 20 people who were in the list of offenders. But only I was thrown out and others were given verbal warning or put on action plan. So I contacted the company and let them know I am not happy about their decision and also let them know that I believe that this case was discriminated and I was made a scapegoat. Now the company is ready to rehire me but not willing to pay for the days when I had to sit at home without any work. I was home for around 30 days with no work and salary but had continuously communicated to them asking them to take me back to work.

For privacy reason I cannot name the company here but its a BPO in bangalore and I have worked with this company for more than 4 years now.

Now I have contacted a solicitor and he has assured me that the company will take me back and will be forced to pay the dues for all these days I had to sit at home without any job. But what is scaring me is the solicitor is going the legal way. In response to this if the company decides to take an action against me legally will I be arrested or do they have the right to get me arrested? If that's the case then I shall rejoin the company without listening to my lawyer. My lawyer is of the opinion that the company has no rights to get me arrested because they have faulted themselves by not setting up an inquiry and by not following the rules of industrial disputes act. But I rely a lot on you all for information. Can you please tell me that if the company wants to get me arrested on the grounds of misconduct can it do so?

From India, Thane
Hi Andreyluvs !

Just to summarise the facts: You were involved in some wrongdoing, benefited out of it, company found the misdeed, terminated you and left others, and now even ready to take you on board while you want to press for compensation for the days lost in negotiation.

Well, let me tell you one thing very clear and that too very clearly. Irrespective of solicitor's opinion (with due respect to him and his experience) here's one rule of law which is widely valid in court of law and it will throw open all your defence-"You can't approach court with unclean hands."

You committed a misdeed. You yourself has accepted that and company is legally allowed to take action on that to which you also agree. As soon as this reaches to court, your case will be over and then story will turnaround by Company pressing for loss of reputation, misconduct etc. and you will be in deep trouble. You should have been grateful that company has agreed to take you onboard despite you acting malafide. But instead you are trying to ask for compensation. You are inviting trouble on your own.

Coming back to Industrial Disputes Act. They may be having violations or non-compliance. But just answer me one thing-does such violations affect or make good your misdeeds? What you did was wrong and you yourself realise that. And now what you are thinking to do is even worse. So stop it before damage could become even substantial. Yes, they may be penalised for non-adherence to Industrial Disputes Act and thus could be fined at max or symbolic imprisonment. (Check out statute if you don't believe me). But if they reverse case on you, you will be pressed for Fraud etc. and will land in big trouble.

(Note: Some people may tell you that legal doctrine told by me is used more in Equity courts but its usage and effect is also widely used in other cases too.)


Puneet Sarin


From India, Gurgaon

I tend to agree with Mr. Puneet Sarin's view.

Unless one examines the contract of employment between you and the company, it would be risky to express an opinion.

I hope that the legal advice you have received so far is based on such a contract of employment and not merely on your version of the episode.

Be that as it may. You committed the first offense. When the company found out they terminated your employment but not of others. This could be because they may not have evidence in their cases.

Regardless of this, if they are willing to rehire you, I would not trust them blindly, if I were you!

It could be that they have been advised that they ought to have followed stipulated procedures under applicable law. To cover that up, they could rehire you, may be even pay you wages for the thirty days you spent at home but after you join they could still go after you, now following a procedure and you would be helpless.

As to your wanting to prosecute the company, did someone advise you to do that and if so under what law?

In my considered opinion, you have no leg to stand on legally speaking, except if you raise an industrial dispute by going through conciliation, reference and a Labour Court, fight the case (which could take anywhere around five years or so and if the decision goes against the employer could always go in appeal and the matter could get extended interminably. In such a case you will be fighting on your own money time and resources. If by then you remain unemployed that would only add to your predicaments. If you approach the civil law the story will remain generally the same except that a civil court MAY award compensation but NO reinstatement and the process will be even slower.

The company will in the first place try its its best to prove that you are NOT a "workman" under Industrial Disputes Act 1947. If it succeeds, your chances of getting so called "justice" will be extinguished!

You have life and a career ahead and only you must decide as to what you wish to do!

Personally I feel you should forget the episode as a bad dream, learn from the mistake and carve out a future based on honesty, integrity and commitment, however difficult it may be in the present situation.



October 13, 2013


From India, Pune
Dear Distressed:
Think before you ink; look deep before you leap! As you yourself have admitted that you have defiled your hands yourself, your best bet is now to leave your present employer 'respectfully,' and look for an alternate job. Your misdeeds must be a lesson for your future.
And remember, self-justification is worse than the original sin.

From Pakistan, Karachi
Do not get unnecessarily involved in legal case until & unless badly required.Legal cases takes months to years. It may benefit you or it may bite you as per company stand/ your stand on the issue. secondly , it is like throwing stones at each other. In this case , if company puts in malpractice then you can be arrested & may be released if there is bail or no evidence of malpractice. But it may be big hurdle in getting job elsewhere also once police complaint is there.
If the company is taking you back then be happy and start your job immediately, do not involve in malpractices though earning may be lesser. Assume your lost time ( one month sitting idle) is the cost of learning.

From Bangladesh, Dhaka
My simle advice to you is to drop all litigation moves against the company since it is willing to take you back. You cannot stay on in the company after the court process whichever way the judgement goes, likely against you though!
Really, I found your proposed action funny, after admitting a wrong-doing and actually so. You are not showing any remorseness for your wrong deed. One would have expected that you will take the offer silently and camly resume work and stay clean going forward! Wonders....will never end.

From Nigeria
1. It will be foolish on your part to take legal course when the BPO is willing to take you back in spite of all your misdeeds. You should be thankful to the Company.
2. You are losing only 30 days salary and nothing else. Do you know the cost of legal charges and the years it will drag on. Therefore, you are losing nothing.
3. Write a thank you letter to the BPO for taking you back and rejoin them and work with honesty and due diligence and do not fall prey to the bad company. This only will take you to the higher stages in your career graph and not few quick bucks by dishonest means. Act with wisdom. Honesty is the best policy.
Wish you all the best.

From India, Mumbai
Thank you every one. I appreciate all of your remarks and advice. Just as my mother advised that going legal will not bring any good, your opinions and valuable advises have confirmed my doubt. I would have done a folly. I cracked an interview and have obtained a joining letter.
Thanks heaps.

From India, Thane
Dear Friends,
It is indeed wonderful to see that all have advised our on the righteousness- discipline and integrity and professional ethics.Unless it is fictitious, this chap is lucky to have landed on another job. He should know people primarily affected due to our misconduct are our Co-workers . By our misconduct we are betraying the trust reposed in us by our friends/co-workers.
It is nice to be among all of you.
Vazgha Vallamudan.
Iyer R N

From India, Madras
If the employer is willing to take you back rejoin them.At the same time try for another job.Probably they will initiate action against you complying all formalities as said by Samvedan.
Varghese Mathew

From India, Thiruvananthapuram

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