What should I do if a company sends a legal notice for absconding

What should I do if a company sends a legal notice for absconding

Date : 29 Apr, 2021

Post By Bhupender Tanwar

In this era of increasing job opportunities in the private sector, it is very common for a person to leave a company and join another with a better salary and facilities. In this way, the cases of employees absconding from a company are also increasing. The term absconding literally means ‘to secretly run away from a situation to avoid custody or arrest’.  In the working of the companies, it means leaving the company unprofessionally without giving a valid reason. In such cases, the company can take strict legal action against such employees.

What if I abscond from a company?

An employer may take legal actions against the employee if there is a case of absconding from a company. The following are various ways of how to abscond from a company:

  1. The employee may have got better job opportunities at any other place where he had to join immediately and resignation from the old company seemed to be a tedious process.

  2. The employee may have done unethical work like sharing confidential documents, information, or databases with another party, thereby causing a breach of trust.

  3. The employee is not able to handle the work pressure or corporate politics at the workplace.

Employment is a kind of a contract and the employer expects the employee to serve his full-time duty. Where he has to leave the job, he should inform that beforehand and summarize all his pending works to another person on his behalf. However, according to the Indian Contract Act, no contract can be enforced if that contract harms the person performing the contract. Also, the Supreme Court of India has clearly stated that no employee can be enforced to employ without their own free will just because he has signed a contract with the company for serving them. The Court has also stated that the employer cannot hold back any important document of the employee to enforce him to work with the company. If there is no such contract, the company cannot claim anything from the employee.

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Is absconding a crime?

Absconding from a company is a crime and it is dealt with under section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. So the company can take legal actions against the absconder. Under section 368 of the Indian Penal Code, if an employee threatens the employer that he may share some confidential document or information of the company with another party to perform some illegal act by the employer, it is considered as a crime of the same seriousness as that of kidnapping or abduction. The employer can take legal action by sending a legal notice to the employee.

Absconding law in India:

  1. Issue of proclamation- This relates to the absconding of a person on bail in a legal suit. Under section 82(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, if the person has absconded to avoid an arrest warrant, the Court may publish a proclamation requiring such person to appear before the court at the specified time and venue within thirty days of such proclamation.

  2. Attachment of property- Before issuing a proclamation that the person is assumed to be absconding, the court has to record reasons, statements of the witness, and evidence in writing. The Court has the discretion to attach the property of the absconder if they have a reason to believe that the absconder has the intention to dispose of his property from the local jurisdiction of the court.

  3. Sale of property- If the absconder has not appeared before the court within the specified time and the court has attached the property, the court can sell the property as disposal of the Government. This can be done after the expiration of six months from the date of attachment and until the disposal of claims of objections if in case, have been done by the Magistrate.

  4. Confession of the accused not to be used after execution of the case- Any confession made by the absconded after his appearance in the Court cannot be used against him after he is placed on trial proceedings as he had no opportunity of cross-examination.

  5. Recording of medical evidence- Medical evidence may be recorded in case the absconder is accused of death or grievous hurt. Such cases are punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Can an employer take legal actions against the employee?

Legal actions against absconding employees can be taken if he has left the company without prior notice or handover of payment and documentation. For this, a legal notice should be served to the employee first. The alternative action the company can take includes reluctance in issuing documents such as relieving letter, full and final settlement statement, service or experience certificate, and marking that employee as an absconder. The things that can be done are-

  1. If there is a mutually accepted clause, then the company has every right to recover the notice pay.

  2. If the employee is ready to pay the compensation, then the employer can issue a relieving letter.

A legal notice received by the employee must be replied to in order to safeguard his career and save him from having the reputation of ‘abscond in company’. The notice may be cross-checked with an attorney-general from Lawtendo. The best way may be to come to a settlement.


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Employee absconding policy in India: Separate employee absconding policy is not available in India. The outlook of the organization is such that, if a person is leaving a company, it is better for him to leave unless he has done some unethical or illegal act. However, he may be sued if he is holding company properties and does not return them to the employer while leaving. Generally, when an employee is leaving, the company finds out the root cause of it and if the employee retention rate is very low then they have to change their employees’ retention policy.

Procedure for Sending a Legal Notice for Absconding a Company:-

  1. The job contract may be referred to as it is essential to fix the burden of the breach of contract on him.

  2. If there is no such contract, then it is difficult to send him a legal notice. So an employee must be bound by a contract, preferably written, before they are entering a new job in a company.

  3. In breach of the terms of a contract, one can file a civil suit for damages.

  4. In case the employee absconds while he is in possession of company property like documents, laptop, or cash, a criminal suit may be instituted against him under the Code of Criminal Procedure on charges of theft and breach of contract.

  5. A legal notice in the form of a letter may be sent to the employee before filing suit for damages so that, other employees may not think of emulating him in the future.

  6. If the employee returns the things that he took or returns back to save his own reputation, then the employer may issue a relieving letter against him. Otherwise, the suit against him continues.

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Lawtendo is an expert organization for you to help in hiring a lawyer. We have twenty-four hours of service to solve specific problems and shortlist the best lawyer for you. We have lawyers who deal specifically in areas like divorce, court marriage and registration, property possession delay, cheque, and money recovery; will drafting and agreement, employment issues, builder dispute, and a lot more. In the problem of wrongful dishonor of cheques also, Lawtendo helps in getting in touch with them without much hassle.

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