Bama Prabu
in Civil Law Labour Law
Asked September 25, 2017

Employer college asking for money to return certificates

  • 2 Answers

I worked as a faculty in an Eng. college for more than nine years. Though the pay was very less, I worked in the same college, as the institution is at 5Km distance from my home. I started my PhD. Now, I am about to complete. During this time, I received a sum of Rs 3000 per month as allowance for three years 5 months. The college has given the money to motivate the faculty to carry out PhD. They stopped the allowance 4 years back. I didn't sign in any bond or promote for that. Now, due to personal reasons, I wish to leave job and planned to shift to other district where my son is studying. Now the institution is asking for 1 Lakh to give back my certificates. How can I solve this issue? The salary, that I draw is very very minimum compared to my experience. How can I legally face the problem?     

Answers 2

Retention of original certificates by any third party is not legal in India as it prevents other employment opportunities for the individual employee. Article 19(1)(g) of The Constitution of India, 1949[1] provides every citizen with the right to practice any profession, or to carry out any trade or business. Any such retention, preventing individuals from applying for other jobs, goes against the Indian Constitution and hence, is illegal in India.

Also, as per S. 23 of The Indian Contract Act, 1872[2], any contract which is ‘forbidden by law’ is a void contract. Moreover in your case, there seems to be no bond between you and the college which can in any way justify the retention of your original certificates.

Now, to get your original certificates back, you can take the following steps-

  • You can send a legal notice[3] to the college. This would serve the purpose of indicating that you are willing to take legal action against it if your demand for return of your certificates is not fulfilled.
  • You can also file a police complaint against the college. If the company does not return your original certificates, you can take more severe step and file a police complaint against the wrongful retention of your certificates.
  • These steps should serve your purpose; however, if these steps fail to yield the desired result, you can approach the civil judges or the metropolitan magistrate court with a private complaint. You can either pursue a civil case against the company for damages and can demand compensation or you can file criminal proceedings for the offences of Cheating and Criminal Breach of Trust under S. 420 of the Indian Penal Code[4]


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    Agree Comment 0 Agrees almost 4 years ago

    You can make a complaint with your local police station if you have not signed any bond to pay Rs. 1 lac for which they can withhold your documents. Keep the proof of original document submission to the college. 

    Agree Comment 0 Agrees almost 4 years ago

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