In what could be a precedent to help terminated employees in the software sector, the Madras High Court on Tuesday restrained Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) from retrenching a woman employee.
Accepting the writ petition filed by Sasirekha Thangavel Natarajan, Justice M Duraiswamy granted a four-week interim injunction restraining the country’s top software company from retrenching her.
The petitioner, who has been working as an Assistant Consultant since March 2011, said TCS served a termination order on her on December 22, 2014, stating that she would be relieved from service on January 21. The management did not give any notice of retrenchment, as required under the Industrial Disputes Act, she said in the petition.
The petition said that it has been made to appear that the termination order was issued on the basis of a review of the requirements of the company, the role “I have been playing and the skill set/competency that I possess.”
The petition said that the allegation in the termination order that “my continued employment is not warranted” is false and disputed.”
There is no redundancy, as alleged. The petitioner, quoting news reports, said that TCS has decided to terminate the services of 25,000 workers who are Assistant Consultants and above and to recruit 55,000 persons, predominantly freshers, in their place to cut costs. “I am one among the said 25,000 workers,” she said.
The decision to terminate the services of experienced workers is unfair, she said.
Asked about the court order, a spokesperson for TCS said, “We have not received any court order regarding this. TCS conducts its performance appraisal process in a fair and professional manner. In this situation, we will review the issues raised in a responsible and considerate manner.”
TCS clarifies stand A company statement said: “We would like to place on record that TCS has not initiated, and is not planning to initiate, any large scale exits of any section of its staff in any part of the organisation. Performance appraisals and associated processes are an integral part of the company’s operations.”
TCS also used the social media to clarify its stand.
Tuesday’s court order comes two days ahead the announcement of third-quarter results by TCS. On the BSE, the company’s stock price closed at ₹2,498.30, down ₹13.75.