In India, if you're going to list a company on your resume as a place you've worked, you need a few documents to back it up. Namely, the original offer letter they provided, and two letters upon your leaving the company; one to outline the work and experience you gained there (how long you were there, what kind of responsibility and role you played) and you need a relieving letter. This is a letter stating that they accepted your resignation. Apparently the fact that you no longer work there isn't proof enough in the Indian job market.
I've seen a handful of folks be forced to resign as a result of having forged one of these letters or not being able to provide them to their new employer within the stipulated time frame. For the most part, I just shook my head and thought - darned their luck. In many cases I had felt that the person being forced to resign wasn't all that effective anyhow and deserved what they got as a result of providing false documentation. You see, forging doesn't mean they were lying about their experience, it just means that they maybe lost, or never got a document upon leaving a company. Depending on the resignation period stated in your employment contract and the reason you plan to leave, companies will actually hold these letters over your head, dangling them like carrots - refusing to give them to you up on your departure if your leaving doesn't fit whatever conditions they put in place.
In the States they just take your word for having the experience you state on your resume. If you tell them you were a Master Black Belt and get hired on in such a role and don't know the first thing about Six Sigma, sure it will come back to bite you and you could be out of a job, but on a smaller scale I'm sure we've all fluffed a resume a time or two and things have worked out fine.
The unfortunate thing here is that even if you're amazingly effective at your job, meet all deliverables and prove yourself to be dependable and trustworthy, but perhaps misplaced an offer or relieving letter you were given a decade back - you're out. That's it.
Today I lost a very good friend and colleague and the rumors are flying that he was forced to resign as a result of something in his back ground verification check. Not from the legal or drug test perspective that you might expect in the States, but most likely because a document was forged or something was missing from the myriad of documents required when he joined the company. What wasn't taken into consideration was the effectiveness to which he delivered. He ran his team flawlessly. He proactively provided data and took on extra work to benefit the entire department, not just his own process. He was an amazing sounding board, always making time for his peers and helping sort through issues whether they were work or personal in nature. None of this mattered in the absence of some lousy documentation. It just doesn't seem fair. It doesn't seem logical. Now we have to find a replacement. Someone who doesn't know the process. Someone who doesn't know the team. Someone who can't thrive in the insane atmosphere the office delivers. It's a shame if you ask me. Exceptions are not made.
Why these types of checks aren't done prior to someone joining is beyond me. Certainly it would save everyone the headache, and in my case the heartache, of losing someone that has proven themselves based on their contributions. Regardless of the reason, I wish him the best of luck and know that my time in office is certainly going to be dim lacking his presence. All the best, Buddy.