Damages Not The Only Nature Of Consequential Relief That Can Be Sought By An Employee; Reiterates Delhi High Court

  • Pankaj Bajpai
  • 01:06 PM, 15 Apr 2021

The Delhi High Court has dismissed the petition filed by Banana IP Counsels LLP and refused to accept the submission of the Petitioner LLP that the consequential relief can only be in form of damages, if at all.

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla ruled that consequential relief need not be only in form of damages. It is for the employee to seek the consequential relief in the form that he/she would be entitled to in accordance with law. Damage is not the only nature of consequential relief that can be sought by an employee.

Equally, while there is no dispute on the proposition of law that the contract of personal service cannot be specifically enforced, the respondent employee is not seeking specific performance of her contract of service. 

Justice Chawla observed that the Suit filed by the respondent employee stated that she had tendered her resignation from the Petitioner LLP and that she was not seeking specific performance of a contract of service and/or reinstatement in the Petitioner LLP. Rather, it sought for a declaration that the letter issued by the Petitioner LLP refusing to accept her resignation and terminating her services, be declared as illegal.

In addition, the respondent employee as a consequential relief, had claimed that the Petitioner LLP be directed to provide an adequate experience letter and relieving letter. The said relief would be in the form of getting an honourable discharge from the services of the Petitioner LLP. The respondent therefore pleaded that the suit could not be said to be one claiming declaration alone without any consequential relief, as claimed by the Petitioner LLP.

The Court also opined that the effect of the Suit having been filed by the Petitioner LLP in Bangalore Court and an FIR having been registered at its behest, is a matter which will be considered by the Trial Court while deciding the Suit. Whether the Suit had been rendered infructuous by any subsequent event, is to be determined by the learned Trial Court once the parties lead their evidence in that regard. 

Justice Chawla also clarified that there cannot be partial rejection of the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC. 

Case Title: Banana IP Counsels LLP vs Nisha Kurian [CM(M) 552/2020 & CM APPL. 28255/2020] dated April 12, 2021