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Pee gate row: Shankar Mishra sues Wells Fargo, case to be heard in Delhi HC on February 14

IANS | February 13, 2024 02:07 PM

NEW DELHI: Shankar Mishra who gained notoriety in January 2023 for allegedly urinating on his fellow passenger, a septuagenarian woman, aboard a New York-Delhi Air India flight, has now taken legal action against his former employer, 'Wells Fargo.'

The company terminated the 35-year-old’s employment following the mid-air incident.

The Delhi High Court will be hearing the case on Wednesday (February 14).

Shankar's father, Shyamnaval Mishra said that his son has been jobless for over a year and has faced over 200 job rejections after unceremonious termination without any enquiry or fact-checking by his employer, Wells Fargo.

The company had put Shankar on ‘Admin leave pending enquiry' on January 5, 2023 and the very next day, January 6, 2023 – Wells Fargo decided that they would not pursue the enquiry and issued a press statement that they were deeply disturbed by the allegations and were terminating Shankar’s service.

In his reapplication filed in the Delhi High Court in January this year, Mishra argued that Wells Fargo or any other employer in India or all fair nations cannot deny an accused employee a fair enquiry.

“Making assumptions and imputing guilt to Shankar's termination without enquiry, proof or facts, is an abuse of employers’ powers, and is coloured with the prejudice of malafide intent, ” the suit stated.

As per the reapplication in court, the Wells Fargo email accuses Shankar Mishra to the extent of pronouncing judgment, sans enquiry, stating “you potentially in fact did commit such an act”.

The Termination notice dated January 6, 2023 states, “For the reasons clearly mentioned in the email dated January 6, 2023 to you, sent to your personal and work email IDs, your employment is hereby terminated with immediate effect (i.e., from 6th Jan 2023) (Release Date) in accordance with clause titled on ‘Separation with no cause’.”

“Therefore, in a space of less than 24 hours Wells Fargo International Bank, shifted stances, from initiating an enquiry, then issuing a public statement condemning Mr.Shankar Mishra, to then deciding NOT to pursue an enquiry, in violations of all principles of natural justice and canons of law.

“The termination process itself is devoid of equity and fairness, and militates against natural justice, the ‘hearing rule’, the ‘bias rule’ and absence of a reasoned decision, which clearly shows the malafide of MNCs, ” said the suit.

"It is true that the employer has been sued for unlawful termination. I believe in the judiciary and this is a fight for justice and Shankar's right to employment, " said Shankar's father.

“This termination by Wells Fargo of an employee will surely be a hard hitting lesson to other corporations on how to handle allegations against their employees more compassionately and not take any knee jerk extreme actions without studying facts and getting the results from an enquiry, ” he said.

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