SLT files cases against four employees seeking damages of Rs. 400 m; obtains enjoining order

Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By way of an Order dated 7 February, the Commercial High Court of Colombo issued an Enjoining Order against four employees of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, namely J.B. Gurusingha, S.S.J. Pathirana, M. Fernando and W.A. Boteju preventing them from disclosing or threating to disclose any undisclosed/confidential/commercially sensitive business information proprietary to SLT.

SLT, the Plaintiff in this matter, instituted legal proceedings on the basis that the Plaintiff thrives on commercially sensitive information and over a continuous period of time the Defendants, being employees of SLT, had been made privy to such undisclosed/confidential/commercial sensitive business information of SLT, which inter alia include the business plans of the Plaintiff, methods of doing business, special arrangements with clients, management directives and payment terms to suppliers. SLT complained that the Defendants, in violation of their Non-Disclosure Agreements and in violation of the Data Security Policy of the company, had in a press conference held on or around the 14 January disclosed certain market sensitive/undisclosed information, which inter alia included financial information reflecting the financial condition of the Plaintiff Company, and had collectively threatened to disclose further confidential information, which are classified as undisclosed/confidential/commercially sensitive business information, and damage the Plaintiff Company. Furthermore, the Plaintiff alleged that the fourth Defendant W.A. Boteju was also actively instrumental in organising a picket held on or around 16 January.

The Plaintiff submitted to Court that revealing such market sensitive information of a Public Listed Company may have a severe impact on the share price and the performance of the company in the stock market.

The Plaintiff instituted legal proceedings, claiming damages of a sum of Rs. 400 million against the four Defendants in lieu of the disclosure, which is a dishonest trade practice under the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003.

On the first instance, Judge Prasantha de Silva, pursuant to the Plaintiff depositing the undisclosed/ confidential/commercially sensitive business information of the Plaintiff  in a flash drive under a confidential cover, and being satisfied on the facts pleaded on behalf of the Plaintiff, granted the Enjoining Order as prayed by the Plaintiff, preventing them from  disclosing or threating to disclose any undisclosed/confidential/commercially sensitive business information of SLT  and issued summons to be served on the Defendants. 

The Plaintiff, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, was represented by Dr. Harsha Cabral, President’s Counsel, who appeared with Counsels Nishan Premathiratne and Chamaka Ambagahawita instructed by Julius and Creasy Attorneys-at-Law.  The case will be called again on 21 February.