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So, yes, it is a serious matter, but not something you can be taken to court for.
On the other hand, you are a manager in a PSU. There are various rules that are applicable to you. So first check the service rules and CPSC rules (or whatever they are called - governing conduct of government / public servants) and see whether you are allowed to give such a certificate. Your position puts a higher moral liability on you, and perhaps may be the cause for you to suffer if it happens to be wrong.
I would say its something to avoid, but it definitely is something you need to read up on, whether you give it or refuse
6th September 2016 From India, Mumbai
Characters certificates are generally issued by the Admin Office. In private organisations it is called as HR Department. You may tell the ex-employee to approach them for the issue of the character certificate. If there is no provision to approach to the Admin department, then you may first check the application form and find out whether it is mandatory to issue this certificate.
Character certificates are issued in order to certify that the applicant has unblemished record. Students, when they change their education institutions to pursue higher studies or because of the transfer of their parents, are required to submit character certificate at the time of admission to the new institute.
Character certificate in general shows that the discharge from the previous organisation was under normal circumstances and there was no negative connotation. However, discharge owing to poor performance has no bearing on the character certificate. In case if the employee is awarded any punishment because of his/her misconduct, that is also not reflected in the character certificate. Character certificates are withhold in case of abandonment of employment, termination arising out of acts of moral turpitude etc.
6th September 2016 From India, Bangalore
#AnonymousYou may issue the certificate on your personal letter head and not on company letter head. It can be issued not as a colleague, but, as a person who knows him for a number of years and that you could endorse his character.
6th September 2016 From Indonesia, Jakarta
7th September 2016 From India, Ahmedabad
#AnonymousThanks to all for taking out time to reply to my query.
Well, I am not from HR department. But I had issued a character certificate to him with company stamp on it for his integrity had been straight as long as he served in our PSU but he didn't use it after knowing that I was little worried about the whole issue.
These type of dilemma are really scary. hahah.
29th September 2016 From India, Guwahati