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Friday, August 1, 2014

Service matter -Once Resignation was accepted in a case of temporary employee, there is no obligation on Govt. to relieve him from duties by way of separate letter to hold the validity of his resignation -No question of reinstatement - on probation - unauthorised absent during probation - on the next day sent resignation - resignation was accepted after long correspondence - Request for cancellation of Resignation letter subsequently - rejected - challanged in Tribunal - dismissed - High court allowed and directed to pay arrears too after reinstatement on the ground that he was not relieved from his duties after acceptance of letter - Apex court held that In our considered view, the part of clause (4) extracted above makes a distinction between the right of a temporary Government servant to sever his connection from Government service by giving a notice of termination and that of a temporary Government servant who chooses not to give such notice but opts to submit a letter of resignation. In the instant case, the letter of acceptance clearly shows that termination of Respondent’s service as per his offer of resignation was not deferred to any future date and hence there was no requirement to relieve him of his duties. Hence, in the instant case, there was no obligation on the Government to write a formal letter that the Respondent has been relieved. Even if such requirement had been there, in the case in hand it would be an empty formality as he absconded from duties for 8 months without joining inspite of letters = CIVIL APPEAL NO.10645 OF 2010 Union of India & Ors. …..Appellants Versus Hitender Kumar Soni …..Respondent= 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41787

 Service matter -Once Resignation was accepted in a case of temporary employee, there is no obligation on Govt. to relieve him from duties by way of separate letter  to hold the validity of his resignation -No question of reinstatement -  on probation - unauthorised absent  during probation - on the next day sent resignation - resignation was accepted after long correspondence - Request for cancellation of Resignation letter subsequently - rejected - challanged in Tribunal - dismissed - High court allowed and directed to pay arrears too after reinstatement on the ground that he was not relieved from his duties after acceptance of letter  - Apex court held that In our considered view, the part of  clause  (4)  extracted  above  makes  a distinction between the right of a temporary  Government  servant  to  sever his connection from Government service by giving  a  notice  of  termination and that of a temporary Government servant who  chooses  not  to  give  such notice but opts to submit a letter of resignation.  In  the  instant  case,  the letter of acceptance clearly shows that termination of Respondent’s  service as per his offer of resignation was not deferred  to  any  future  date  and hence there was no requirement to relieve  him  of  his  duties.   Hence,  in  the  instant case, there was no obligation on the Government to  write  a  formal  letter that the Respondent has been relieved.  Even if such  requirement  had  been
there, in the case in hand it would be an  empty  formality as he absconded from duties for 8 months without joining inspite of letters = 

His service was still temporary and  under
probation. He did not report for duty on 06.10.1997 and on the  next  day  a
letter of resignation dated 07.10.1997 sent by the Respondent  was  received
in the concerned office through post.  The reason for resignation  mentioned
in the letter was unavoidable family circumstances and  ill  health  of  the
Respondent.  For  some  administrative  reasons,  the  resignation  of   the
Respondent  could  not  be  accepted  immediately  although   he   disobeyed
directions through various letters to resume his duties and  never  reported
for  work  although  no  leave  was  sanctioned.   Through  a  letter  dated
31.10.1997 Respondent was informed that his resignation cannot  be  accepted
for some administrative reasons.
By  a  letter  dated 24.10.1997,
Respondent was informed that tendering of  resignation  was  not
sufficient to absolve him of his official duties unless it was  accepted  by
the Competent Authority.   He  was  asked  to  submit  some  other  official
documents such as Instructions Set, Identity Card,  Tour  Diary,  Kit  items
and  some  relevant  official  papers.   He  was   also   asked   to   offer
clarification regarding a sample survey  and  was  warned  that  on  failure
disciplinary  action  might  be  initiated  against  him.   In  reply,   the
Respondent through a letter dated 10.11.1997, informed that he had  returned
Instructions Set, Tour Diary, Random Table and NIC book.  He also  requested
that the cost of kit items may be adjusted from his pending dues.  He  again
made a request that his resignation which he had already  submitted  may  be
accepted.  Letters were issued to the Respondent in February and April  1998
regarding his obligation to join duties and  his  failure  to  submit  leave
application.   However,  ultimately  the  Competent  Authority,   as   noted
earlier,  by  letter  dated  16.6.1998  accepted  the  resignation  of   the
Respondent.  On 5.8.1998 the Respondent sent a letter  to  the  effect  that
the circumstances under which he  had  submitted  his  resignation  had  now
changed and hence his resignation letter may be treated as  cancelled.   The
concerned officials got the Identity Card of  the  Respondent  collected  on
25.8.1998 for fear of its misuse.
Since the Appellants did not accede to the request  of  the  Respondent,  he
preferred  O.A. in Tribunal - Tribunal dismissed and filed writ in High court  =

inspite of resignation of the  Respondent  dated  07.10.1997
having been accepted by the Competent Authority  by  order  dated  16.6.1998
The  High   Court held that the resignation could not have come into  effect  because  as  per
clause (4) of Office Memorandum dated 11.2.1988 issued by the Government  of
India,  Ministry  of  Personnel,  Public  Grievances   and   Pensions,  
the
Respondent was also required to be relieved of  his  duties  which  was  not done by the Appellants
and further held   the
Respondent  entitled  for  reinstatement  in  service   to   the   post   of
“Investigator”.  
The Government was directed  to  decide  the  admissibility
and entitlement of leave, arrears of pay and allowances  and  other  service
benefits  of  Respondent  upon  his  reinstatement  after   affording   full
opportunity to the Respondent, of hearing as well as leading evidence.=

 whether  relevant
clause (4) of the Office Memorandum dated 11.2.1988 takes away the power  of
the Government to effectively bring to an end the service of an employee  by
accepting his resignation  unless  the  Government,  besides  accepting  the
resignation also proceeds to relieve the employee.=

Clause (4): Since a temporary Government servant can  sever  his  connection
from Govt. service by giving a notice of termination of service  under  Rule
5(1) of the Central  Civil  Services  (TS)  Rules,  1965,  the  instructions
contained in this Office Memorandum relating to  acceptance  of  resignation
will not be applicable in cases where a notice  of  termination  of  service
has been given by a temporary Govt. servant.  If, however,  temporary  Govt.
servant submits a letter of resignation in which he does  not  even  mention
that it may be treated as  a  notice  of  termination  of  service,  he  can
relinquish the charge of the post held by him only after the resignation  is
duly accepted by the appointing authority and he is relieved of  his  duties
and not after the expiry of the notice period laid  down  in  the  Temporary
Service Rules.”

Apex court held that
In our considered view, the part of  clause  (4)  extracted  above  makes  a
distinction between the right of a temporary  Government  servant  to  sever
his connection from Government service by giving  a  notice  of  termination
and that of a temporary Government servant who  chooses  not  to  give  such
notice but opts to submit a letter of resignation.
In the  case  of  notice
of termination the concerned employee can relinquish the charge of the  post
on expiry of the period of notice, but, such right will not be available  to
a temporary employee in case he tenders a simple  resignation.  
The  reason
is obvious because a  resignation  requires  acceptance  by  the  appointing
authority and  till  then  his  right  to  relinquish  is  impinged  by  the
requirement, to be relieved of his duties.
On a joint  reading  of  clauses
(3) and (4) it can be safely inferred that  depending  upon  the  facts  and
circumstances of a case and nature of request made in a resignation  letter,
the Government has the power to accept the resignation so as to bring  about
a severance of relationship of master and  servant  with  immediate  effect.

But in cases where the letter of resignation itself specifies a future  date
for being relieved or where,  as  indicated  in  clause  (2)  the  concerned
Government servant is engaged on work of importance  etc.,  the  resignation
may not be accepted straightaway.
It is in  such  circumstances  only  that
Government may exercise its power to accept the offer  but  defer  the  date
from which resignation would become effective.
The  normal  rule,  however,
remains  that  Government  has  the  power  to  accept  a  resignation  with
immediate effect.
In case the Government for some reasons wishes  to  defer
or specify the date from which resignation would  become  effective,  it  is
entitled to take work from the  concerned  Government  servant  till  he  is
relieved in accordance with the facts and requirements  of  the  case.   
The
letter of  Government  accepting  an  offer  of  resignation  itself  should
normally be conclusive for deciding whether the  Government  has  opted  for
immediate termination  of  service  by  accepting  the  resignation  or  has
deferred such termination to a future date.
Only in the  latter  eventuality
the relationship of master and servant shall  continue  till  the  concerned
Government servant is relieved of his duties.  
In  the  instant  case,  the
letter of acceptance clearly shows that termination of Respondent’s  service
as per his offer of resignation was not deferred  to  any  future  date  and
hence there was no requirement to relieve  him  of  his  duties.  
Even  the
peculiar facts of this case show that the Respondent while on probation  had
already abandoned his temporary service for almost  8  months  and  had  not
cared to report for duty inspite of several requests.  
In such a  situation,
it would be impossible to relieve an absconding employee of his  duties  and
if the reasoning of the High Court is accepted such  employee,  even  if  he
has tendered resignation, must be continued in service till he  is  actually
found or till he presents himself to be relieved  of  his  duties.   Such  a
view would be impractical and run against larger public interest.
There may be cases where an employee resigning  from  service  has  gone  in
hiding or is  in  jail  custody  etc.  
The  construction  placed  upon  the
relevant clauses of the O.M. dated 11.2.1988 by the High Court  will  render
the provisions unworkable, hence such construction needs to be avoided.
The word, “relieving” itself must be understood  in  the  ordinary  parlance
because it is not defined in the  O.M.  or  in  the  relevant  rules  as  is
apparent from the judgment of the High  Court.  
The  meaning  of  the  word
“relieve” given in the Law Lexicon (2nd Edn. 1997 by P. Ramanatha Aiyar)  is
– “to free or clear a person from an  obligation”.  
This  result  manifests
itself from the order accepting the resignation because no  reservation  has
been made by the Government that the Respondent has to continue  in  service
till any particular time or till being  relieved.  
Hence,  in  the  instant
case, there was no obligation on the Government to  write  a  formal  letter
that the Respondent has been relieved.  Even if such  requirement  had  been
there, in the case in hand it would be an  empty  formality.
The  wholesome
writ jurisdiction was not required to be  exercised  in  the  facts  of  the
present case keeping in view the conduct of the Respondent in escaping  away
from his duties without  obtaining  leave  when  he  was  only  a  temporary
employee under probation.
For the aforesaid reasons, we find no option but to set aside the order  and
judgment of the High Court under appeal.  We order accordingly.

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41787


                                                                REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.10645 OF 2010

Union of India & Ors.                              …..Appellants

      Versus

Hitender Kumar Soni                                …..Respondent




                               J U D G M E N T



SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.

As Appellants the Union of India and its concerned officials  are  aggrieved
by the judgment  and  order  under  appeal  dated  11.12.2008  passed  by  a
Division Bench of High Court of Himachal  Pradesh  in  Civil  Writ  Petition
No.41 of 2001 whereby the High Court allowed the Writ Petition preferred  by
the sole Respondent  and  set  aside  the  impugned  order  of  the  Central
Administrative  Tribunal  dated  15.5.2000.   The  High   Court   held   the
Respondent  entitled  for  reinstatement  in  service   to   the   post   of
“Investigator”.  The Government was directed  to  decide  the  admissibility
and entitlement of leave, arrears of pay and allowances  and  other  service
benefits  of  Respondent  upon  his  reinstatement  after   affording   full
opportunity to the Respondent, of hearing as well as leading evidence.
Before adverting to the facts it is relevant to notice at  the  outset  that
the High Court, inspite of resignation of the  Respondent  dated  07.10.1997
having been accepted by the Competent Authority  by  order  dated  16.6.1998
held that the resignation could not have come into  effect  because  as  per
clause (4) of Office Memorandum dated 11.2.1988 issued by the Government  of
India,  Ministry  of  Personnel,  Public  Grievances   and   Pensions,   the
Respondent was also required to be relieved of  his  duties  which  was  not
done by the Appellants.
The question falling for determination in this appeal  is  whether  relevant
clause (4) of the Office Memorandum dated 11.2.1988 takes away the power  of
the Government to effectively bring to an end the service of an employee  by
accepting his resignation  unless  the  Government,  besides  accepting  the
resignation also proceeds to relieve the employee.  In  the  judgment  under
appeal, the relevant clauses,  i.e.,  clauses  1,  2,  3  and  4  have  been
extracted in paragraph 10(iii) and those clauses are reproduced  hereinbelow
for the sake of clarity and convenience :
“Clause (01) : Format  of  resignation:  Resignation  is  an  intimation  in
writing sent to the competent authority by the incumbent of a post,  of  his
intention or proposal to resign the office/post either immediately  or  from
a future specified date.  A resignation has to be clear and unconditional.

Clause (02): Circumstances under which resignation should be accepted.

It is not in the interest of Government to retain  an  unwilling  Government
servant in service.  The general rule, therefore, is that a  resignation  of
a Government  servant  from  service  should  be  accepted,  except  in  the
circumstances indicated below :-

Where the Government servant concerned is engaged on work of importance  and
it would take time to make alternative arrangements for  filling  the  post,
the  resignation  should  not  be  accepted  straightaway  but   only   when
alternative arrangements for filling the post have been made.
xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

Clause (03): A resignation becomes effective when it  is  accepted  and  the
Government servant is relieved of his duties.  If a Government  servant  who
had  submitted  a  resignation,  sends  an  intimation  in  writing  to  the
appointing authority withdrawing his earlier letter  of  resignation  before
its acceptance by the appointing authority, the resignation will  be  deemed
to have been automatically withdrawn and there is no question  of  accepting
the resignation.  In case, however, the resignation  had  been  accepted  by
the appointing authority and the Government servant is to be  relieved  from
a future date, if any request for withdrawing the  resignation  is  made  by
the Government servant before he is actually relieved  of  his  duties,  the
normal principle should be to allow the request of  the  Government  servant
to withdraw the resignation.  If, however, the request for withdrawal is  to
be refused, the grounds for the rejection of  the  request  should  be  duly
recorded  by  the  appointing  authority  and  suitably  intimated  to   the
Government servant concerned.

Rules governing temporary Government servants in reference to Rule  5(1)  of
the CCS (TS) Rules, 1965.

Clause (4): Since a temporary Government servant can  sever  his  connection
from Govt. service by giving a notice of termination of service  under  Rule
5(1) of the Central  Civil  Services  (TS)  Rules,  1965,  the  instructions
contained in this Office Memorandum relating to  acceptance  of  resignation
will not be applicable in cases where a notice  of  termination  of  service
has been given by a temporary Govt. servant.  If, however,  temporary  Govt.
servant submits a letter of resignation in which he does  not  even  mention
that it may be treated as  a  notice  of  termination  of  service,  he  can
relinquish the charge of the post held by him only after the resignation  is
duly accepted by the appointing authority and he is relieved of  his  duties
and not after the expiry of the notice period laid  down  in  the  Temporary
Service Rules.”

Now, the relevant facts.  After being selected and recommended by the  Staff
Selection Committee  for  appointment  as  “Investigator”  (Group  ‘C’  non-
gazetted post), the Respondent joined the said post in  the  Office  of  the
Assistant Director, National  Samples  Survey  Organisation,  Shimla,  Field
Operation Division on 24.6.1996.  His service was still temporary and  under
probation. He did not report for duty on 06.10.1997 and on the  next  day  a
letter of resignation dated 07.10.1997 sent by the Respondent  was  received
in the concerned office through post.  The reason for resignation  mentioned
in the letter was unavoidable family circumstances and  ill  health  of  the
Respondent.  For  some  administrative  reasons,  the  resignation  of   the
Respondent  could  not  be  accepted  immediately  although   he   disobeyed
directions through various letters to resume his duties and  never  reported
for  work  although  no  leave  was  sanctioned.   Through  a  letter  dated
31.10.1997 Respondent was informed that his resignation cannot  be  accepted
for some administrative reasons.  The details of  relevant  correspondences,
preceding and succeeding the letter dated 31.10.1997,  have  been  noted  by
the High Court in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the judgment.   By  a  letter  dated
24.10.1997, Respondent was informed that tendering of  resignation  was  not
sufficient to absolve him of his official duties unless it was  accepted  by
the Competent Authority.   He  was  asked  to  submit  some  other  official
documents such as Instructions Set, Identity Card,  Tour  Diary,  Kit  items
and  some  relevant  official  papers.   He  was   also   asked   to   offer
clarification regarding a sample survey  and  was  warned  that  on  failure
disciplinary  action  might  be  initiated  against  him.   In  reply,   the
Respondent through a letter dated 10.11.1997, informed that he had  returned
Instructions Set, Tour Diary, Random Table and NIC book.  He also  requested
that the cost of kit items may be adjusted from his pending dues.  He  again
made a request that his resignation which he had already  submitted  may  be
accepted.  Letters were issued to the Respondent in February and April  1998
regarding his obligation to join duties and  his  failure  to  submit  leave
application.   However,  ultimately  the  Competent  Authority,   as   noted
earlier,  by  letter  dated  16.6.1998  accepted  the  resignation  of   the
Respondent.  On 5.8.1998 the Respondent sent a letter  to  the  effect  that
the circumstances under which he  had  submitted  his  resignation  had  now
changed and hence his resignation letter may be treated as  cancelled.   The
concerned officials got the Identity Card of  the  Respondent  collected  on
25.8.1998 for fear of its misuse.
Since the Appellants did not accede to the request  of  the  Respondent,  he
preferred   Original   Application   No.798/HP/1998   before   the   Central
Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench, Circuit Bench at Shimla,  seeking
quashing of the order accepting his  resignation  and  for  a  direction  to
treat him in service and  grant  of  consequential  reliefs.   The  Tribunal
rejected the prayers made in the O.A. by  order  dated  15.5.2000  but  gave
liberty to the Respondent to apply for fresh  appointment  to  the  post  of
“Investigator”.   The  Appellants  were  directed  to   consider   such   an
application sympathetically and offer him employment in case  he  was  found
eligible.  Accordingly, Respondent made an application  dated  26.6.2000  to
consider    for    his    fresh    appointment    sympathetically.      That
representation/application was rejected on 27.11.2000 pointing out that  the
Respondent was already over-age at  the  time  of  order  by  the  Tribunal.
Thereafter, Respondent preferred Civil Writ Petition  No.41  of  2001  which
has been allowed by the order under appeal.
The High Court, in a rather lengthy judgment, has considered a large  number
of  judgments  of  this  Court  for  recapitulating  the  well   established
principles of law such as – normally,  the  tender  of  resignation  becomes
effective and the service or office tenure of the concerned employee  stands
terminated, when it is accepted  by  the  Competent  Authority.   For  this,
reference may be made to a judgment of a Constitution Bench in the  case  of
Union of India & Ors. v. Gopal Chandra Misra & Ors. (1978) 2  SCC  301;  and
that notice of voluntary retirement or resignation can be withdrawn  at  any
time before it becomes effective.
A plea was taken by the Respondent before the High Court that  the  decision
accepting his resignation was not received  by  him.   The  High  Court,  in
paragraph 27 of the judgment, took the view that such a plea would not  have
any effect upon the order of acceptance of resignation.   This  view  is  in
accordance with judgment of this Court in the case of Raj Kumar v. Union  of
India AIR 1969 SC 180.  In that case, the concerned employee  had  withdrawn
his resignation before the order accepting his resignation had reached  him.
 This Court, in paragraph 5 of the Report, made  a  distinction  between  an
order of dismissal on one hand and termination of employment  on  the  other
which is invited by a public servant through an offer  of  resignation.   In
the latter eventuality, the employee’s “services normally  stand  terminated
from the date on  which  the  letter  of  resignation  is  accepted  by  the
appropriate authority and in the absence of any law or  rule  governing  the
conditions of his service to the contrary,  it  will  not  be  open  to  the
public servant to withdraw his resignation  after  it  is  accepted  by  the
appropriate authority….”.
We have heard learned counsel for the Appellants  and  learned  counsel  for
the Respondent and we find, on a perusal of the  order  under  appeal,  that
the only ground, on which the High Court has allowed the writ  petition  and
granted  relief  to  the  Respondent,  is  its  opinion  that  in  view   of
requirement of clause (4) of O.M. dated 11.2.1988 it was incumbent upon  the
Appellants to bring some materials on record to  show  that  the  Respondent
was relieved from the duties of  his  office  following  the  acceptance  of
resignation on 16.6.1998.  For the reasons  indicated  hereinbelow,  we  are
unable to agree with the aforesaid view of the High Court.
A perusal of the relevant clauses of  the  O.M.  dated  11.2.1988  discloses
that resignation is required to  be  intimated  in  writing  disclosing  the
intention to resign the office/post either  immediately  or  from  a  future
date.  In the latter case,  such  future  date  should  be  specified.   The
resignation has to be clear  and  unconditional.   The  Respondent  did  not
specify any future date but submitted  his  resignation  in  writing  giving
reasons and his intention to resign is clear and unconditional.  Clause  (2)
contains circumstances under which resignation should be accepted.  This  is
for the guidance of the concerned officials and does not  create  any  right
in the concerned employee to resist acceptance of resignation.   Clause  (3)
specifies that a resignation becomes effective when it is accepted  and  the
Government servant is relieved of his duties.  A  careful  reading  of  this
clause  throws  some  light  as  to  why  the  requirement  of  relieving  a
Government servant has  been  indicated  in  this  Office  Memorandum.   The
second sentence of this clause states the  normal  rule  that  a  Government
servant can withdraw his letter of resignation before its acceptance by  the
appointing authority.  The next following sentence spells out that  in  case
the resignation had been  accepted  by  the  appointing  authority  and  the
employee is to be relieved from a future date, if a request  for  withdrawal
of resignation is received from the employee, the normal rule should  be  to
allow the request to withdraw the resignation.  But, even in  such  a  case,
the request for withdrawal may be refused but the grounds for the  rejection
should be recorded and intimated to the Government  servant  concerned.   In
continuity, clause (4) considers the case of a temporary Government  servant
who has a right to opt out of Government  service  by  giving  a  notice  of
termination of service as per applicable service rules of 1965.  In  such  a
case  the  Office  Memorandum  in  question  relating   to   acceptance   of
resignation will not be applicable.  The subsequent provision of clause  (4)
has been held applicable to the Respondent  because  instead  of  notice  of
termination he had tendered a letter of resignation.  In such a case as  per
clause  (4),  “….he  can  relinquish  the  charge  of  a  post  only   after
resignation is duly accepted by the appointing authority and he is  relieved
of his duties and not after the expiry of the notice  period  laid  down  in
the Temporary Service Rules”.
In our considered view, the part of  clause  (4)  extracted  above  makes  a
distinction between the right of a temporary  Government  servant  to  sever
his connection from Government service by giving  a  notice  of  termination
and that of a temporary Government servant who  chooses  not  to  give  such
notice but opts to submit a letter of resignation.  In the  case  of  notice
of termination the concerned employee can relinquish the charge of the  post
on expiry of the period of notice, but, such right will not be available  to
a temporary employee in case he tenders a simple  resignation.   The  reason
is obvious because a  resignation  requires  acceptance  by  the  appointing
authority and  till  then  his  right  to  relinquish  is  impinged  by  the
requirement, to be relieved of his duties.  On a joint  reading  of  clauses
(3) and (4) it can be safely inferred that  depending  upon  the  facts  and
circumstances of a case and nature of request made in a resignation  letter,
the Government has the power to accept the resignation so as to bring  about
a severance of relationship of master and  servant  with  immediate  effect.
But in cases where the letter of resignation itself specifies a future  date
for being relieved or where,  as  indicated  in  clause  (2)  the  concerned
Government servant is engaged on work of importance  etc.,  the  resignation
may not be accepted straightaway.  It is in  such  circumstances  only  that
Government may exercise its power to accept the offer  but  defer  the  date
from which resignation would become effective.  The  normal  rule,  however,
remains  that  Government  has  the  power  to  accept  a  resignation  with
immediate effect.  In case the Government for some reasons wishes  to  defer
or specify the date from which resignation would  become  effective,  it  is
entitled to take work from the  concerned  Government  servant  till  he  is
relieved in accordance with the facts and requirements  of  the  case.   The
letter of  Government  accepting  an  offer  of  resignation  itself  should
normally be conclusive for deciding whether the  Government  has  opted  for
immediate termination  of  service  by  accepting  the  resignation  or  has
deferred such termination to a future date. Only in the  latter  eventuality
the relationship of master and servant shall  continue  till  the  concerned
Government servant is relieved of his duties.   In  the  instant  case,  the
letter of acceptance clearly shows that termination of Respondent’s  service
as per his offer of resignation was not deferred  to  any  future  date  and
hence there was no requirement to relieve  him  of  his  duties.   Even  the
peculiar facts of this case show that the Respondent while on probation  had
already abandoned his temporary service for almost  8  months  and  had  not
cared to report for duty inspite of several requests.  In such a  situation,
it would be impossible to relieve an absconding employee of his  duties  and
if the reasoning of the High Court is accepted such  employee,  even  if  he
has tendered resignation, must be continued in service till he  is  actually
found or till he presents himself to be relieved  of  his  duties.   Such  a
view would be impractical and run against larger public interest.
There may be cases where an employee resigning  from  service  has  gone  in
hiding or is  in  jail  custody  etc.   The  construction  placed  upon  the
relevant clauses of the O.M. dated 11.2.1988 by the High Court  will  render
the provisions unworkable, hence such construction needs to be avoided.
The word, “relieving” itself must be understood  in  the  ordinary  parlance
because it is not defined in the  O.M.  or  in  the  relevant  rules  as  is
apparent from the judgment of the High  Court.   The  meaning  of  the  word
“relieve” given in the Law Lexicon (2nd Edn. 1997 by P. Ramanatha Aiyar)  is
– “to free or clear a person from an  obligation”.   This  result  manifests
itself from the order accepting the resignation because no  reservation  has
been made by the Government that the Respondent has to continue  in  service
till any particular time or till being  relieved.   Hence,  in  the  instant
case, there was no obligation on the Government to  write  a  formal  letter
that the Respondent has been relieved.  Even if such  requirement  had  been
there, in the case in hand it would be an  empty  formality.  The  wholesome
writ jurisdiction was not required to be  exercised  in  the  facts  of  the
present case keeping in view the conduct of the Respondent in escaping  away
from his duties without  obtaining  leave  when  he  was  only  a  temporary
employee under probation.
For the aforesaid reasons, we find no option but to set aside the order  and
judgment of the High Court under appeal.  We order accordingly.  The  appeal
is allowed and as a result, the writ petition of the Respondent shall  stand
dismissed.  In the facts of the case we pass no order as to costs.


…………………………….J.
[VIKRAMAJIT SEN]



……………………………..J.
[SHIVA KIRTI SINGH]

New Delhi.
July 21, 2014.

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