Dear CiteHR members, I will be brief here. I was employed in a Bank as a Scale III Manager. My 3 month notice period with them ended on April 5th 2020. Due to the lockdown because of Covid-19, the place where I was supposed to join has cancelled my hiring. Now the situation is that I had joined this Bank last year and had signed a 3 year bond of Rs. 2 lacs. Now the Bank has withheld my Salary for the period of March and few days of April in lieu of the Bond Amount and is also asking for 18% GST on that amount.
I have requested the Bank multiple times to be considerate of the current economic situation and release my salary and waive off my Bond amount. If they cant waive, then atleast release my salary and give me some time to repay the Bond Amount. But they have been constantly emailing me asking for the entire amount including GST. Please advice me what can I do in this situation.
You are required to pay bond amount as a contractual obligation. As per Contract Act 1872, the present covid condition attracts Force Majecure whereby the contractual obligations are deferred till normalcy is restored. In simple terms, 'Force Majeure' clause is a provision in a contract that exempts a party from performing his contractual obligations which have become impossible or impracticable due to an event or effect which the parties could not have foreseen or controlled. I am attaching a brief article with some supporting judgements of Supreme Court.
I presume you were working in some private bank. Nevertheless the Government of India guidelines are that the employees are not to feel harassed in this period and their employment benefits are to be assured.
I think you can reply to them on the above lines.
From India, Mumbai