Discussions on about Nayak's exit terms

MUMBAI / NEW DELHI: Star India and its executive vice-president sales and marketing, LS 'Raj' Nayak, are still grappling with the issue of making the latter's exit from the company as amicable as possible. The next 48 hours will decide whether any of the parties concerned will knock on the doors of the court or not.

Industry sources told that several rounds of talks have been held between Nayak and the top honchos of Star India (read chief executive Peter Mukerjea). A few more rounds are scheduled over the next two days to hammer out a solution.

But one thing seems certain: after having spent over nine years in Star's Indian operations, Nayak wants to test the waters solo.

When contacted today, a spokesperson for Star India said: "We have no comment to offer. It is something between an employee and the employer and is a private affair."

Still, industry sources said L'affair Nayak may be tricky and has the potential of throwing up many twists and turns before coming to an end, a la one of the Star Plus soaps that Nayak has been aggressively selling to advertisers.

The grey areas emerge from the fact that Nayak, as other senior executives of Star India, including Mukerjea, had signed a three-year contract with Star early last year. Nayak's imminent departure from Star now, almost 18 months before the contract comes to an end, may have legal implications.

A legal expert in Delhi, being posed this question, said even though she is not aware of the details of the contract, but on the face of it, the employer (that is Star India) can take legal recourse if the employee (Nayak) is adamant on leaving the company much before the contract signed between them expires.

The flip side, the legal expert pointed out, is that it is highly unlikely to assume that a contract will not have exit clauses for the employee too. This means that it is unusual for a contract to be signed, which possibly states that an employer can fire an employee, but the latter cannot quit the company before the expiry of the contract period, the expert explained.

It is probably this scenario that both Star and Nayak are trying to avoid. What does the contract, signed between Nayak and Star, state is not known to And nobody is holding forth on the details either.

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