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Indian Law/Relieving Letter Issue - Small scale Industry


Dear Sir,
I am working as an Engineer in a small scale industry for last 6 months. I have got a job offer, from one of the top automotive companies in India, with a handsome salary. So, I wish to resign my present job.
The appointment letter at my present job has NO mention of 'notice period before leaving'. I have not signed any contract either. I have not been informed of there existing any other 'service rules'.
But, since its a small company, the owner might take my resignation in a negative way and might deny a 'Relieving Letter'. (I am saying this based on experiences of a few past employees.) The new company can give me a month to join but wants me to submit a relieving letter compulsorily. I will make sure for a smooth handover in one month. Does my employer have a legal right to deny a relieving letter? What does no mention of 'notice period' in appointment letter mean? Can I take a legal action against him, if my relieving letter is denied? How long will it take to fight for a relieving letter in court? I will lose both jobs if it takes too long. Please Help !
Thank you.
Nitin, Pune, India

Thanks Nitin for your referral.

Suggest to proceed as follows:

1. Firstly, inform the new employer about the situation that-
(a) your appointment letter has no notice period clause; and
(b) your present employer may not issue a relieving letter at all or delay in issuing it despite your resigning and handing over etc.
-and request your new employer to let you join merely on the basis of your confirming to the new employer in writing of your having resigned and providing a copy of your resignation.

2. If your new employer agrees to the above, you can resign by submitting your resignation letter (on system or by hard copy) and also send your resignation letter by registered post to the old employer and provide its copy to the new employer and join the new employment.

3. If the new employer is not agreeable to 1. above, then seek time from the new employer to join and in the meanwhile keep pursuing with the old employer for reliving letter. Please meet with the old employer in person at the highest level (to HR Head or even CEO etc) and urge to do the needful.    

Please do not loose heart. If you give best try, you will succeed either of the ways above.

Best Regards.

Indian Law

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Rajeev Dewal


Indian Law relating to Banking and Financial Transactions. Kindly read instructions on "Ask the Question" page before asking a question. Kindly note that the replies here are by way of general information and not to be taken as legal advice nor the same form any client attorney relationship.


Over 20 years as In-House Counsel and banker with International, Private and Public Sector banks in India.

Currently, Head- Legal, RBL Bank Limited, India (see web:


Awards and Honors
University Prize- LLB Examination, Distinction- CAIIB.

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