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Delhi HC restrains former employee from storing, sharing confidential info of US-based company

ANI | Updated: Jul 02, 2020 12:39 IST

New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has restrained a former employee of a US-based company -- Nuance Communications Inc -- from storing, sharing, publishing, and disseminating, in any form, certain highly-confidential information of the company.
Nuance is a US-based multi-billion-dollar corporation engaged in developing speech recognition and artificial intelligence software.
A bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdhar has passed an interim injunction restraining former employee Vijay Anthony, his agents, affiliates, relatives, employees or any other third-party from copying, storing, sharing, publishing, imparting or disseminating, in any form, certain highly-confidential information belonging to Nuance.
The injunction was passed on a civil suit filed by the company seeking a permanent injunction, mandatory injunction, and damages.
The petition was filed by the law firm Kochhar & Co through its chairman and managing partner Rohit Kochhar and partner Inder Gill, who appeared before the Delhi High Court on behalf of Nuance.
According to the petition, Anthony addressed several extortionist emails to Nuance's CEO Mark Benjamin claiming he has downloaded and stored confidential information (confidential medical records of patients of hospitals located in USA/Canada) belonging to Nuance.
Anthony blatantly threatened Nuance that if the company didn't yield to his extortionist demands, he would publicly disseminate the stolen confidential information on the internet, the plea alleged.
The company has also filed a criminal complaint against the former employee with the Delhi Police for the offences of data theft, extortion, criminal breach of trust, and criminal intimidation. An FIR has also been registered against the man.
The company engaged Anthony as an independent vendor for providing transcription services for a period between June 2010 and April 30, 2015.
Thereafter, Anthony was employed in the grade 'MLS Grade 2 eScription1 - India', vide Employment Agreement dated December 17, 2015, and in addition, he also executed a confidentiality contract of even date with the plaintiff, in terms whereof, the defendant explicitly agreed and undertook to abide with the confidentiality obligations stipulated in the confidentiality contract, the plea said.
During the course of his employment, the defendant was allowed to operate from a remote location -- his residence in Delhi -- by utilising secure IT resources, it added.
The plea said that the professional performance of the defendant deteriorated with time, his productivity plummeted and he started remaining absent from work for prolonged periods of time despite logging-in the IT system of Plaintiffs and marking himself present.
"The plaintiff gave several opportunities to the defendant to rectify his conduct, despite which he failed to take corrective measures or remedy his unprofessional, negligent and irresponsible conduct," the plea said.
"As there was no sign of improvement in the Defendant's conduct, the plaintiff was compelled to terminate the employment relationship with the Defendant vide letter of termination dated December 27, 2018," it added.
After more than fourteen months from the date of termination of the defendant's employment, Nuance CEO was shocked and appalled to receive an email dated March 9, 2020, from the defendant, in which the defendant informed him that he had illegally downloaded and stored unauthorised sensitive confidential information belonging to the plaintiffs, the plea said. (ANI)