Ex-employee Drags Citibank To Court Over Termination

New Delhi, December 22: | Updated: Dec 23 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Delhi High Court has issued notice to Citibank following a suit filed by one of its employees claiming compensation of Rs 1.25 crore for wrongful termination of his services.

In the petition, Citibank employee Rajesh Kumar Jyoti alleged that he acquired a medical disability due to the nature of the job he did at the company. He pleaded that his services could not be terminated as the quality of his work did not suffer due to the disability.

Counsel Himinder Lal appearing for Mr Jyoti submitted that the plaintiff worked as an assistant manager with Citibank from 1989 to 1994 and as a manager thereafter. At the time of his appointment he successfully passed the banks prescribed medical examination and on completion of six months, received confirmation of employment.

As part of his job, he was required to work on a computer and was provided with three telephones including a hotline which he had to attend to without any assistance. As he had to work in this way for 9-13 hours a day, Mr Jyotis counsel submitted that his client underwent immense work pressure. During the course of his employment, Mr Jyoti suffered numbness in both forearms and hands and his right knee became wobbly. He apparently, found it difficult even to turn door-knobs.

In 1996, he consulted several doctors who were of the opinion that Mr Jyoti had to undergo a surgery in London. He was diagnosed as suffering from multiple cervical disc prolapse and cervical cord compression for which it was recommended that he undergo cervical disc surgery.

All this while Mr Jyoti kept Citibank informed of his physical condition. Mr Jyoti had an operation in London in June 1997 for which Citibank bore the expenses.

After the operation, Mr Jyoti was assigned the same work. In 2002, he once again suffered from severe back ache. On July 4, 2002, he informed his employer and went on leave. The doctor advised him bed rest for three weeks. On July 22, Mr Jyoti received a letter from Citibank asking him for a suitable time when the bank doctor would be sent to examine him. However, on July 31, he got another letter asking him to resume work within two days, failing which, action would be taken against him.

On August 8, Mr Jyoti received yet another letter informing him that he had left employment on his own accord and as such ceased to be an employee of the bank. Mr Jyoti wrote back saying he had not left employment. By a letter of August 21 Citibank reaffirmed that Mr Jyoti had ceased to be its employee. As per the letter, Mr Jyoti had failed to respond to letters dated July 1, July 12, July 22 and July 31, 2002 written to him by Citibank.