NEW DELHI: Taking a compassionate view of an Indian Air Force (IAF) airman whose pursuit for a better life and sheer hard work led to his selection as probationary officer in a public sector bank, the Delhi high court has directed the government to discharge him from service to enable him to join the new job.
Airman Rajiv Ranjan’s efforts to join the State Bank of India were halted by the IAF for his admitted failure to inform his superior officer before applying for the civil post.
The IAF permits airmen to seek discharge from service on selection to a Group A post in the central or state government or an equivalent post in public sector undertakings (PSUs).
However, the airman must seek permission before applying for civil posts through online registration.
Since Ranjan informed the force only after he was selected in the bank, his plea to discharge him from service was rejected on the grounds that it was not in the interest of service discipline.
A bench of justice Hima Kohli and justice Sunil Gaur took note of the fact that it was the last opportunity available to Ranjan to apply for a Group-A post, as he will soon attain the age of 33 years, which is the cut-off age for an OBC candidate.
Ranjan had contended that he had a humble socio-economic background. He said his father worked as a private driver and he has three sisters, of whom two are younger to him and are still studying.
Due to the financial constraints faced by the family, Ranjan had enrolled with the IAF at an early age when he was only an intermediate. While still in service, he completed his graduation in the hope and expectation of a better life.
Ranjan also argued that he was eligible to apply for a Group-A post under the Air Force policy as he had completed twelve years of service as against the prescribed seven years of mandatory service.
He contended that he failed to apply to his superior officer beforehand as he was mentally stressed due to his mother’s grave illness at that point in time.
Considering that Ranjan stood the chance of losing the opportunity of career progression for the rest of his life and the peculiar circumstances of the case, the court directed the government to issue a No Objection Certificate to him.
The court further clarified that the order had been passed in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the present case and would not be treated as a precedent in any other matter.