jurisdiction for payment of salary
I rendered software services to my client in UK. We worked for 9 months and out of that I was paid for 7 months. I was not paid for the last two months. Client is saying he will pay up but now payment is almost 4 months due and he is non committal on when he will pay.
The company is registered in UK and hence I think the jurisdiction will be UK and we may have to file case in appropriate legal cell in UK.
As of now I’m totally unaware about the process and looking out for some starting help. Let me know how you can help in this matter.
Firstly, you need to know all the clauses of the contract between you and the client you were working for. If in contract it is specifically mentioned that the jurisdiction for any legal action will lie in U.K. then the case will have to filed in UK. Other wise, as per Section 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a case can be initiated either where the defendant resides or where the cause of action arose. In the present circumstances, you can employ the fact that the salary was not paid in India and therefore the cause of action arose in India and therefore the Indian courts may have the power to try the case. You must get in touch with a local lawyer to explore the possibility of filing the suit in India itself.
If the case is to be filed in UK then for claims less if the value of a case is £10,000 or less, it will generally be allocated to the small claims track. The county court deals with civil cases which are dealt with by a judge or district judge. A case can be started in any county court but it may be transferred to the defendant’s local court. If the case is defended and the claim is for a fixed amount of money, the case will be transferred automatically by the court to the defendant’s local court (if the defendant is an individual not a company). You can make a claim in the county claim court by filling a county claim form or you can also use money claim online to register your claim. For this you need to send the court fees. Court fees would be depending on the amount you claim plus the interest. You will have to employ a lawyer in UK and process the matter there with his/her help.
Hey, since you rendered them your services, you ought to be paid. Now, if you had signed a contract; that would have clarified your doubts regarding the jurisdiction. If you didn’t, then you must have realised the importance of these Contracts. However, the jurisdiction would have been in some other Country if the parties had such a provision. But, since that is not the case, the jurisdiction would lie in UK.
Now, the case would come under Supply of Good and Services Act, 1982. Sec. 11F of the talks about remedies for breach of Contract, under this, you can either claim damages or in case the breach is material (which it is not), reject any goods delivered under the contract and treat it as repudiated. Now, there is a need to establish that there was a contract to pay you for a certain consideration (trade off). If you had a fully written contract with you, there would be no issues while claiming money from the client. However, if you have no idea about contract, then you need to prove that you worked for the Company and weren’t paid. You may use emails by the company or anything that would substantiate your case against them. You need to prove that there was a service rendered and no payment was made.
Once, that is proved, Sec 15. of the Act states that, “where under a relevant contract for the supply of service, the consideration for the service is not determined by the contract, left to be determined in a manner agreed by the contract or determined by the course of dealing between the parties, there is an implied term that the party contracting with the supplier will pay a reasonable charge.”
So, the Company is bound to pay you your dues if you prove the following in front of the Court:
- The fact that you rendered your services.
- The fact that there was a contract.
- The fact that you were not paid.