Techie who threatened his employer using extra-legal means cannot be reinstated: HC

The High Court of Karnataka

The High Court of Karnataka

The High Court of Karnataka has said that it cannot order the reinstatement of a software engineer who had threatened his employer by adopting extra-legal methods, claiming that he had arms and weapons in his possession besides having the support of persons with legal and political backing.

However, the court ordered the company to pay ₹10 lakh to the employee as compensation for terminating him from service without holding a proper disciplinary inquiry.

Justice K.S. Mudagal passed the order while setting aside the Labour Court’s February 2021 order of directing the company to reinstate the techie with back wages.

The techie was employed by a U.S.-based software company in February 2015 for an annual pay package of ₹24.75 lakh and was posted in its Bengaluru office after training him in the USA. Later, he was asked to undergo a Performance Improvement Programme (PIP) as his performance was not satisfactory.

Bombs and gun

Following this, he had sent emails to the company and employees in which he had threatened that he has a gun, eight bombs, and two swords in his possession.

He had also claimed in the emails that he is capable of destructive activities against the management and employees as his father being an advocate knew people with criminal backgrounds and his uncle was an MLA.

Subsequently, the company in January 2016 lodged a complaint with the city police alleging that the techie had resorted to violence with other employees.


Though techie had filed a counter-complaint with the police against the HR managers, the High Court had quashed the same. In 2018, the techie moved the Labour Court, which in February 2021 had ordered his reinstatement.

Though the High Court found that the techie was terminated from the job without holding a proper inquiry, in violation of principles of natural justice, it said that his conduct does not deserve benefit of reinstatement.

The techie, who was working in the position of Quality Engineer and Developer, had lost trust and confidence due to his conduct, the court said, while pointing out that the threatening mails sent by him and his conduct were sufficient to prove that “the management’s perception of loss of mutual confidence was not subjective”.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 12:00:10 pm |