GOPAL PAPER MILLS LTD Vs. SURENDRA K GANESHDAS MALHOTRA
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
GOPAL PAPER MILLS LTD.
SURENDRA K. GANESHDAS MALHOTRA
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A.N.Ray, J. -
(1.) This is a suit for an injunction restraining the defendant during the continuance of the agreement of employment dated November 22, 1957 from giving his services or advice to any person or company whatsoever other than the plaintiff or from becoming interested or engaged in any enterprise or undertaking either alone or jointly with other or any other in any business or trade Other than the plaintiff's business or trade. The plaintiff is a limited company and carries on business mainly of manufacture of paper. The plaintiff runs a scheme to train up graduates fresh from the Universities, inter alia, in the manufacture of paper on their agreeing to serve the plaintiff and/or the companies under the management of the managing agents and/or their allied concerns for 17 years after completion of an apprenticeship period of 3 years. In pursuance of the scheme the plaintiff issued advertisements for recruitment of apprentices and the defendant, who had graduated from the Bombay University, applied to the plaintiff on or about June 28, 1957 for being taken in as an apprentice under the plaintiffs scheme.
(2.) By an agreement dated November 22, 1957 the plaintiff agreed to appoint the defendant as an apprentice. The terms and conditions of the agreement are inter alia as follows :
"(a) That the defendant will serve the plaintiff for a term of twenty years from the date of his joining the duties i.e., September 30, 1957 including the apprenticeship period of three years at the remuneration specified in the schedule to the said agreement; (b) That in the event of the defendant's work being found satisfactory, during the apprenticeship period, the plaintiff shall be entitled to retain his services for a period of further seventeen years after the expiry of the training period of three years, in the post of an Assistant Shift in charge (Pulp) or an Assistant Shift Chemist (Recovery) of a Laboratory Chemist giving him the remuneration set out in the said schedule subject to the conditions therein mentioned and intimating to the defendant its intention so to do within two months after the expiry of the apprenticeship period of three years; (c) That the defendant during the continuance of his employment shall well and diligently, according to the best of his ability, employ himself in the service of the plaintiff and shall obey the orders from time to time of the Plaintiff or its managing agents and in all respects shall conform to and comply with the directions and regulations given and made by them and shall well and faithfully serve the plaintiff and use the utmost of his endeavour to promote its interest and shall not divulge nor communicate to any person or persons whatsoever any information which he may receive or obtain in relation to the affairs of the plaintiff and/or its managing agents and shall not, nor will absent himself from the duty at any time without the sanction of the plaintiff or its managing agents first had or obtained, nor shall give his services or advice to any other person or company whomsoever, nor become interested nor engaged in any enterprise or undertaking either alone or jointly with other or any other in any business or trade; (d) That the plaintiff or its managing agents shall be entitled to terminate the services of the defendant without notice on account of either of the following events, irrespective of the fact whether the said agreement period would have expired or not: (i) If the plaintiff decides not to retain the services of the defendant at any time during the apprenticeship period of three years. (ii) If the defendant fails to perform his duties to the satisfaction and approval of the Plaintiff and/or its managing agents who shall have the absolute discretion in deciding whether the defendant does so and their certificate shall be final and conclusive between the parties hereto. (iii) If the defendant shall at any time wilfully disobey or be found unable to perform or comply with all lawful instructions given to him by the plaintiff and/or its managing agents or if he fails to observe proper discipline, or if he fails to carry out the conditions and stipulations of this agreement, or if he be considered guilty of neglect of duty, insobriety, dishonesty, insubordination, fraud, or other indiscretion or any offence under the law of the country. In the event of the Company terminating the Agreement under this clause, the Assistant shall have no claim whatsoever against the Company."
(3.) The defendant acted as an apprentice and he was posted in the Mills of the plaintiff at Yamunanagar in the district of Ambala. It is alleged that the defendant started his training in paper manufacture and was given full facilities to learn the technicalities thereof and to get specialised knowledge and experience therein. The defendant, St is also alleged, was given special training in the manufacture Of paper and by reason of his association with the said Paper Mills the defendant acquired special knowledge and experience in the manufacture of paper and by reason of his having acquired such knowledge and experience the plaintiff came to repose confidence in him.;
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