Phaneesh Murthy, the former chief executive of US-based software firm iGate, who was sacked by the company for failing to disclose a relationship with a subordinate in May this year, has slapped the company with a defamation lawsuit for an unspecified amount.
Murthy has also charged iGate of withholding his termination and medical benefits.
One of India's best-known IT leaders, Murthy claimed in his suit, filed before a California court last Monday, that the iGate board knew of his relationship with his colleague, yet "improperly" used the reporting policy to terminate him.
iGate's policy specifies that all employees should report their relationships to the company.
"One independent director of iGate's board wrote to me saying that the Board was aware of my relationship with the employee," Murthy said.
The former chief executive has also claimed that iGate has withheld his 527,000 vested shares in the company, valued at around $17 million (Rs 103 crore).
"We believe that this claim has no merit, and we intend to vigorously defend this action," an iGate spokesperson said about Murthy's move.
Murthy said iGate has also wrongfully withheld $1.6 million (Rs 10 crore) termination benefits and medical benefits of $6,000 (Rs 3.65 lakh) a month. He, however, hinted possibilities of an out-of-court settlement if iGate comes up with a credible proposal.
Murthy is expected to start his strategic advisory firm "Primentor Inc" sometime early next year. He had set up Primentor in 2002 soon after quitting Infosys in the wake of a sexual harassment case that was settled without litigation.
The firm ceased to exist when he founded Quintant, which was merged into iGate. "I have restarted the firm (Primentor)this month," Murthy said.