The Bombay High Court has held that once the notice of voluntary retirement is accepted, it cannot be withdrawn as the relationship between an employer and an employee comes to an end.
A division bench of Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice AM Dhavale at Aurangabad was hearing a writ petition filed by one Gajanan Maitri, Class II (Group-B) Income Tax Officer, Ward-Osmanabad Camp at Latur.
After rendering 35 years of service, on November 20, 2017, the petitioner gave a notice/application for voluntary retirement from the post of Income Tax Officer. As per the notice of voluntary retirement, the petitioner intended to retire with effect from February 28, 2018. On February 28, the petitioner submitted an application for commuted leave on medical grounds for one month, between March 6 and March 28. The leave was sanctioned and the petitioner handed over the charge on March 5. However, the petitioner gave an application for withdrawal of notice of voluntary retirement on March 17, 2018, during his leave. But the petitioner was informed that his notice of voluntary retirement had been accepted on March 9, 2018.
Petitioner then challenged the said communication which rejected his application for withdrawal of notice of voluntary retirement before the Administrative Tribunal. The tribunal rejected the said application.
Advocate SP Warad appeared on behalf of the petitioner and submitted that the application withdrawing the notice of voluntary retirement was given before the acceptance of the notice of voluntary retirement, hence the notice of voluntary retirement would stand withdrawn. The petitioner has every right to withdraw the notice of voluntary retirement before its acceptance, Warad said.
He further argued that the tribunal failed to consider the said aspect in its correct perspective. Only 35 months of the service period of the petitioner had remained.
Additional Solicitor General SB Deshpande appeared on behalf of the Union and submitted rule 48(1) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 does not permit the petitioner to withdraw the notice after acceptance of the notice of voluntary retirement and after the intended period of retirement is mentioned in the notice.
After examining all the facts before it, the court said-
"The government employee will have locus poenitentiae to withdraw his request for voluntary retirement before the intended date of retirement and not thereafter. On the lapse of intended date of retirement, the relationship of the employer and employee would come to an end.
In the present case, the employer has accepted the notice of voluntary retirement on March 9, 2018 and had also issued an office order relieving the petitioner from service and for the first time the petitioner issued a letter withdrawing his notice of voluntary retirement on March 17, 2018. On the said date, the petitioner did not have locus to withdraw his notice of voluntary retirement as the relationship of an employer and employee came to an end."
The court observed that the tribunal had not committed any error in rejecting the petitioner's application and dismissed the application.
Read the Order Here