A US grand jury has slapped Tata Group companies - Tata Consultancy Services and Tata America International Corp - with $940 million in fine in a trade dispute with Epic Systems.
The federal grand jury in the US State of Wisconsin has ruled that Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Tata America International Corp must pay $240 million to Epic Systems for ripping off its software.
Besides, the Tata companies have been asked to pay another $700 million in punitive damages.
The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Madison in October 2014, and amended in January and December 2015, in which Epic Systems accused TCS and Tata America International Corp of "brazenly stealing the trade secrets, confidential information, documents and data" belonging to Epic.
In its lawsuit, Epic had said that TCS took that data while consulting for its customer.
Epic said that it "recently learned from an informant" that TCS employees have been "fraudulently accessing" Epic's software beyond what the consulting contract required - and using Epic's software to improve their own competing product.
One TCS employee's account, which was used in India and several US locations, downloaded 6,477 documents, according to Epic.
"Rather than compete lawfully with Epic, TCS has engaged in an apparently elaborate campaign of deception to steal documents, confidential information, trade secrets, and other information and data from Epic, for the purpose of realising technical expertise developed by Epic over years of hard work and investment," the lawsuit said.
Tata America International Corporation and its affiliated companies in the United States provide certain outsourcing services in information technology, infrastructure support, business process outsourcing and other support services to corporate customers in Europe, according to the company's website.
"In connection with the provision of such services, TAIC receives in the US certain personally identifiable information about individual employees, consumers, and other end users of such customers in the European Union and Switzerland," says the company's profile.
The Tata Group comprises over 100 independent operating companies operating in more than 100 countries. Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies.