Officer can’t withdraw resignation once it is accepted, says tribunal

  • Soibam Rocky Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 29, 2016 12:31 IST
The Central Administrative Tribunal dismissed the plea of an Indian Revenue Service Officer of the 2002 batch seeking to withdraw her resignation. (AFP/Representative Photo)

A revenue service officer who wanted her job back nearly three years after she resigned has been told she cannot withdraw her resignation as it had already been accepted by the government and surpassed the 90 days’ relaxation period.

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) dismissed the plea of an Indian Revenue Service Officer of the 2002 batch seeking to withdraw her resignation from service in 2008 as she is now in a pathetic condition.

This is not the first instance of government officers putting in their papers and later struggling to get back the job.

In 1969, IAS officer Raj Kumar faced a similar fate when his appeal to the Supreme Court to withdraw his resignation after its acceptance by the government was dismissed by the top court. His contention — that the acceptance of the resignation was not communicated to him — was also dismissed by the apex court that said the resignation becomes effective once accepted. The case has now become a reference point for government counsel defending similar cases.

However, in an uncommon case, an IAS officer was able to get back the job even after over six years of resignation as it was later discovered that the resignation could not have been accepted due to a technicality issue. Later, the officer was in the running for the post of cabinet secretary.

In the current case, the lady officer, while working in Shimla, had resigned from service citing “sheer despair and depression” due to her continuous ill health and estranged relationship with her husband.

While the resignation was accepted on January 16, 2008, after a gap of three years, she sought to get her job back on “humanitarian grounds”. She contended that after her resignation, she is now unable to meet the expenses for her treatment and could not look after her little child as she had parted with her husband.

“Hence, in the interest of justice and on humanitarian grounds, her application for withdrawing her resignation is required to be accepted,” the plea said. The principal bench of CAT in Delhi, however, relied on the department of personnel and training’s office memorandum, which provides for relaxation of the time limit of 90 days between the date on which the resignation became effective and the date on which the person is allowed to resume duty.

“Since the applicant, admittedly, applied for withdrawal of her resignation beyond the said permissible period, she cannot seek any relaxation of rules,” the tribunal held.

It also noted the government’s argument that once her resignation was accepted and published in the official gazette — a public document — non service of the same on her does not take away its effect.

On issuing the same, the relationship of an employer and an employee came to an end.

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