Patna High Court: A Division Bench of Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Anjana Mishra, JJ. dismissed an appeal for voluntary retirement filed against the respondent as the inquiry was started almost after 2 years of giving notice.

Respondent herein had tendered an application for voluntary retirement entitling her to be treated as a retired government servant She was proceeded against in departmental proceedings for her unauthorized absence. The point for consideration was whether the respondent could have proceeded for voluntary retirement from service in the disciplinary proceedings. Learned Single Judge held that since respondent’s voluntary retirement application was accepted in law, therefore the action taken by appellants was not in conformity with the rules. Aggrieved thereby, the present appeal was filed.

Counsels for the appellant, Binita Singh and Apurv Harsh, contended that as per Rule 74 (b)(i) of Bihar Service Code, 1952 a government servant may, after giving at least 3 months previous notice, in writing, to the appointing authority concerned retire from service on the date on which such a government servant completes 30 years of qualifying service or attains 50 years of age. Thus, a government servant could get retired only if he gave atleast 3 months prior notice to the concerned authority. 

Learned counsels for the respondent P.K. Shahi and Sanjeev Kumar Mishra contended that in view of the law laid down in Dinesh Chandra Sangma v. State of Assam, (1977) 4 SCC 441 the application moved for voluntary retirement was in order and the same had rightly been treated to be a valid application by the learned Single Judge. Thus, the entire disciplinary proceedings were invalid and consequently quashing of the punishment order was justified.

The Court noted that the application for voluntary retirement had been filed by the respondent before the concerned authority, but no orders were passed thereon. Once the application for voluntary retirement had been moved, then merely because the period of three months had not been mentioned in the said application, the same would not render it invalid ipso facto and it would mature after the expiry of three months. Inquiry against the respondent was commenced almost after two years after the maturity of her application, but no explanation was provided for the said delay.

Reliance was placed on the case of Dinesh Chandra Sangma v. State of Assam, (1977) 4 SCC 441 where it was held that consent of government is not necessary to give legal effect to voluntary retirement. In view thereof, the appeal was dismissed. [State of Bihar v. Swarn Lata Sinha, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 852, decided on 07-05-2019]

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