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Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru
Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court
Make proper verification before submitting papers
I was contacted on a job portal for a position in Sri Lanka in a software start-up company. The job, the salary etc. was very good and I happily accepted the offer after one round of interview. Before sending the offer letter, they asked for my papers and proof of identity for which I sent my passport copy and Aadhaar card copy along with other documents. Now they have gone completely silent. There are no contact details for the company, which they explained was because it was a start-up in the pre-launch phase. They are not calling or responding. I’m quite afraid that my documents will be misused. Is there some pre-emptive measure I can take?
— Kanniappan, via email
In such matters, you should have made proper verification before submitting your CV. I understand the Tamil Nadu Overseas Manpower Corporation helps to find out the bonafides of such overseas companies. However, as you had submitted only photocopies of your documents, nothing to be worried and no possible misuse can happen.
Advocate's misconduct can be taken up with Bar Council
I run a garment business and recently ran into a problem where a client sent me a legal notice for breach of contract over delayed supplies. I contacted a lawyer and discussed the details of the case. He agreed to represent me. However, I resolved the issue with the client and they agreed not to pursue the case. Now the lawyer is insisting that I pay him his fees of Rs 50,000 for that one meeting. I didn’t sign any retainer agreement or contract. Am I bound to pay him?
— SP (name withheld on request)
Since you do not have any written agreement with your lawyer regarding his fees, you need not worry about paying the huge amount demanded by him. Even for recovering that amount, the lawyer will have to move the court and if and when such proceedings are instituted, you can defend your stand and claim that it was an exorbitant fee and not matching with the service rendered. If the lawyer otherwise uses any extraneous pressure, you can complain to the Tamil Nadu Bar Council about his professional misconduct and the council will take action.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are of Justice K Chandru, who is providing guidance and direction based on his rich experience and knowledge of the law. This is not a substitute for legal recourse which must be taken as a follow-up if so recommended in these columns