Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Court appearance

Recently,I got a call from an office, wherein, I had worked.Well,the call was from an ex- colleague.She made the usual discreet inquiries as to my being disturbed & I replied in the negative.I was surprised, that she had taken time off during her lunch hour oops, wasted her time to call me.She then proceeded to enlighten me that she had a job for me.I was flabbergasted !

She told me the reason she had called me up.There was a document signed by me when I was an employee there.So,I was expected to go to a town which will require me to travel overnight & give evidence in a matter before the Judiciary in favour of my erstwhile employer.Her boss had been kind enough to inform her which she passed on to me by telling me that my traveling expenses as also my expenses for staying in that town would be reimbursable.

I told her that as my daughter's exams were on,I would be unable to attend to the request for court appearance.Moreover,I reminded her, that as there was no one who would baby sit my daughter,I have to refuse.She was immediately apologetic & said that she was doing as directed by her boss . Her boss had told her that my evidence would make the Company's case air tight & save quite a substantial sum.He also opined that the company was going to win the case.I was quite impressed that persons like her boss were so concerned about their employer as very few in this age care more than a damn though I still harbor doubts about pretended loyalties et al.

I spoke my mind & let her know that as the company was so sure of a win,my evidence was unnecessary- maybe just a formality.I also brushed aside her suggestion that I left my job to look after my kid.

The whole talk left me quite amused.When ,I was in employment,I recall some of our senior colleagues being reprimanded in open court for deposing in court.The reason was though they were employees of the company,the judge was fed up of the stand taken by the Company that the people appearing in court were not authorised to give evidence or take a stand about the department.The court stated that the public sector just seems to believe that the case can go on & on without any of the executives of the Company stepping into the court as they were too busy & so high up in hierarchy that if they attended court,they stature would diminish in inches if not feet.

When senior employees whilst in office could be taken to task in the court during their service,I wonder, how I can make a court appearance after resignation?Do I have any locus standi at all ?Moreover,my travelling & other costs would be paid back but what about time spent by me leaving my family ? If any evidence is needed to demonstrate that time has little value in public sector then,this is it- there is no value of time -neither yours,nor mine & about theirs of course -was there ever any doubt ?

But one thing is certain- the manner in which my terminal dues were settled ( the time,the procedure etc ) had made me doubt if I was ever employed by the company but now, that has been laid to rest.But still,being answerable for a decision taken more than ten years back is just too much to digest ,isn't it - the decision to sign a document & that too in public sector ?!

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