Can’t withdraw resignation once it is accepted: HC

In a contractual master-servant relationship, no employee can assert a right to withdraw his resignation, especially after it had been accepted by the competent authority, on any ground, much less the ground of having tendered the resignation in frustration and under depression, the Madras High Court has ruled.

A Division Bench of the High Court gave the ruling while dismissing a writ petition filed by a lower court employee who claimed to have resigned from the post of office assistant because he was made to perform domestic chores such as cleaning toilets even on holidays at the residence of a Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Writing the judgment, Justice M. Venugopal said: “The term ‘resignation’ means the act of giving up or relinquishing office. A resignation must be unconditional and one with the intent to operate as such... In law, an employee has no locus poenitentiae (right to withdraw) to withdraw an offer of resignation after it was accepted.

He also pointed out that the resignation letter submitted by the writ petitioner on January 31, 2014 states that he was resigning due to family problems. “Now, at this distant point of time, it is not open to him to take an altogether different stand that he had tendered the resignation under depression and frustration,” the judge added.

In his affidavit, the writ petitioner M. Saliq Ahmed (name changed) stated that he submitted his first resignation letter on June 6, 2013, as he could not bear the ill-treatment meted out to him by judicial officers and their family members who forced him to run errands and do menial jobs at their residence despite being designated as office assistant.

However, that resignation was not accepted and a short period of absence after submitting the letter was treated as leave on loss of pay. Subsequently, he was posted at the court of another judicial magistrate who meted out a similar treatment. The petitioner tendered his resignation again in 2014 and it was accepted immediately.

Six months thereafter, he made representations to his employer and other authorities, including the Department of Minorities Welfare to review his resignation and reinstate him in service since it was tendered out of “deep frustration.” However, he did not succeed and hence the present writ petition.

Petitioner submitted his resignation twice alleging ill-treatment by officers and their families

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 3:04:21 PM |

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