The Armed Forces Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed the plea of an UAV specialist Army major, who wanted to quit the Army to take care of his ailing father. The tribunal said army personnel resignation is not in national interest.
“Since Major Sumit Sharma is a specialized officer in particular branch — Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations) — which is already running short of officers... we do not think proper to interfere in this matter as the national interest has higher priority than any other priority,” said the tribunal bench headed by Justice A K Mathur and Lt Gen M L Naidu.
Sharma approached the tribunal seeking directions to the Army to accept his resignation with immediate effect and relieve him with all the benefits from Service as he had to look after his ailing father. After the death of his mother in 2007, the officer had submitted his resignation which was also rejected.
The Army had opposed the resignation of the officer saying Sharma had received specialist UAV training as an observer in 2006 for Israeli-made UAV systems and was suitably employed as per his training. It had said that there was an acute shortage of officers in the Regiment of Artillery and the criticality was more profound for specialist officers.
The tribunal said “Since his services are indispensable to the Army because of his specialised training, therefore, we are not inclined to interfere in the matter,"
The officer, posted at Jammu, had contended that his application for compassionate posting to New Delhi to look after his sick parents, was rejected by his own Unit.
The petition was transferred in August 2009 from the Delhi High Court to the tribunal, which had asked the Army to dispose of his case in six months.