Octavious
Hr Manager
Sushilkluthra@gmail.com
Consultant In Legal Matters
+1 Other

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Hello Seniors,
I worked for a company for more than 17 years and left before 10 months. Now, they are behind me and sent me two letters through a lawyer saying that it is "legal notice". Into last letter they asked a huge amount from me and to leave the existing job. In fact I have joined their competitors. While I joined them before 17 years as trainee engineer, they mentioned in appointment letter that I cannot join a competitor and based on that they are threatening me for legal proceedings!!! I know it is kind of personal matter and one particular person, who was my supervisor is insisting for this activity, otherwise company and the Managing Director are good.
So, now I need your expert advice please.
Thank you,
Sachin Joshi
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do not confuse with hardship of supervisor and kindness of managing director who ever managing business. your query is related to recovery of dues, i suppose. you can prefer a complaint with labour officer of your area and put forth your views. rest your problem solved.
In fact I have got all the dues, but my concern is that they are sending me legal notices. They asking me asking me to give Rs. 1 Crore and also to leave my current job.
I had already posted earlier that there is a Supreme Court judgement wherein the SC has stated that trying to force an employee not to join a competitor is a violation of the constitutional right of employment. Moreover, this kind of restraint can only be enforced when one is working in a strategic role and not an operational role. Even in a strategic role, the restraint can be enforced if an adequate compensation is paid for the cooling of period.

When Mark Hurd left HP as CEO and joined Oracle as CEO, HP went to court. The court was very clear that Mark Hurd had joined a division which is not a direct competitor of HP, while Oracle may have products which HP has. Hence there is no damage to HP. So, if at a CEO level, no damage is found to be caused, at your level, I don't think this case will sustain. I have quoted numerous cases even in India on this. Please go through the thread and look up.

From your posting, I assume that you were not holding a strategic role and neither were you privy to any strategy. Hence, the matter of any damage to the ex company does not arise at all. You need to take this stand and respond to them directly or through a lawyer. Meanwhile, since you say that MD is a good person, write to him directly stating the harassment you are undergoing and also that since you were not in a strategic role but only in an operational role, your moving to the competition is not going to cause any damage to the company. There could be some respite.

Regards
Such an agreement restraining you to carry out profession in a competitor business after leaving earlier job, has been held to be void under Section 27 of Contract Act as held by Delhi High Court in American Express Bank vs Ms. Pratima Puri in 2006 after referring to Apex Court decisions. Give a reply through counsel and since it is void agreement contrary to public policy, also mention that extortion proceedings may be initiated against him.
Thanks
Sushil
Had your employer taken Bond from you, it all depends the terms& conditions mentioned in the service Bond. If you have not given any service bond than the employer can not do any thing if you have resigned the job and they accepted the same. otherwise they can only play around the terms of agreement for breach of contract. it is always stipulated in the conditions of agreement if you entered at the time of joining N K SHARMA
Hello, I did not sign any bond but, as I mentioned in first post, they mentioned the terms in the appointment letter at the time of my joining before 18 years and that I had signed.
Sachin,
Both the Anonymous person and Sushil have provided good advice. To put it in simple English - Forcing employees / ex-employees to not join competitor or trying to extract compensation for joining a competitor is no longer permissible in the eyes of the law. Your old agreement / terms of appointment which stated that you cannot join competitor companies is therefore void (does not exist / becomes null). As Anonymous suggests please speak or write to your senior in your earlier company or HR Head, or reply through a lawyer. Please rest assured they cannot force you to pay such a huge amount.
Hello Seniors,
Thank you all for your advice. Please know that it is an American MNC and my ex-supervisor, who is a director also in the company, insisting to take these actions. The managing director and HR manager are not able to stop him since he has strong back up from group CEO and president from USA. Not only me but most of the people in the company say that the MD is just like a rubber stamp or "Dhrutrashtra". He does not have in depth technical knowledge and hence the other person is taking advantage. I know that there is no case and it does not stand in court, but they do not want to miss any chance to harass me.
Thank you once again for your attention!!
Best Regards,
These sort of johneys are snubbed only after showing them how criminal proceedings can be launched against them. Remember the scenario of Bhopal gas massacre. CEO of that MNC could not be tracked only because of protection of politicians. Otherwise hands of law were very long.
Thanks
Sushil
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