I am employed in Hyderabad. During the time of joining , my employer convinced me to hand over one of my educational certificates so that I do not abscond. The employer is doing so with all the employees.
I handed over the certificate and I was given a letter confirming that the certificate is with the employer and that it shall returned to me at the time of my exit.
I was also asked to sign a letter stating that I need to serve a notice period of 90 days ( if I resign ) and if I cannot serve 90 days of notice period , then a monetary compensation is to be "mutually" decided.
Recently I have resigned and do not intend to serve a notice period of 90 days due to personal constraints. I am ready to pay a month's salary to my employer as a compensation.
In such a situation if there is a dispute about the compensation value, then -
1. Can my employer legally keep my certificate until the dispute is resolved ?
2. If I expect/demand that my certificate is returned before the monetary dispute is resolved, then would such an expection/demand be illegal or it would be justified ?
3. Is keeping someone's certificate for employment legal in general ?
4. What action can I take if my employer is not willing to return the certificate ( as I am not willing to pay more money to compensate for the shorter notice period ) ?