Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: Birendra Kumar, J., addressed the instant petition against the order of State whereby the petitioner’s application for voluntary retirement was treated as an application for resignation.

On 31-10-2005 the petitioner filed an application to the Secretary, Health Department, stating therein that due to certain personal and family reasons the petitioner was not in a position to discharge his official duty with responsibility. Hence, he may be permitted to retire voluntarily with effect from 01-02-2006. Since, the petitioner had not completed 20 years of service for retiral benefit, the petitioner made further prayer in the said application that the intervening period between 01-11-2005 to 31-01-2006 be treated as a period spent on extra-ordinary leave.

The technical difficulty in allowing voluntary retirement was that the petitioner had not completed 30 years qualifying service or attained 50 years of age on the date of application for voluntary retirement as required by Rule 74(b) of the Bihar Service Code. The respondent initiated a departmental proceeding against the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner was absent from duty without any permission of the authority and was reportedly engaged in services of some other State. Consequently, the respondent treated the application of the petitioner as an application of resignation without any rhyme or reason or any such averment in the application.

Noticing that the authorities did not take any decision on the prayer of the petitioner for voluntary retirement made in the year 2006 till 2013 and in 2013 the petitioner was fulfilling the conditions for voluntary retirement as per Rule 74(b) of the Bihar Service Code and had already completed 50 years of his age for qualifying to make prayer for voluntary retirement., the Bench stated,

“Either the authorities should have accepted the prayer of the petitioner or would have rejected the same in toto but they could not have treated the same as application of resignation.”

Therefore, it was held that the act of respondent suffered from arbitrariness and takes away the valuable legal right of the petitioner which made it unsustainable in law.  Hence, the impugned order was quashed. The respondents were directed to treat the prayer of the petitioner as prayer for voluntary retirement with all the retiral benefits according to law which would be effective from the date of the impugned order, i.e., 02-01-2013. [Vinoy Singh v. State Of Bihar, CW No. 1556 of 2019, decided on 19-02-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Appointments & TransfersNews

Justice Sunil Kumar Awasthi has tendered his resignation from the office of Judge, Madhya Pradesh High Court, in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from 02-01-2021. Department of Justice, Ministry of Law &  Justice has issued today a notification in this regard.

Shri Justice Sunil Kumar Awasthi,  joined Judicial Service on October 15, 1985, as Civil Judge Class Il and served in various capacities at different places as a Judicial Officer. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 13, 2016, and as Permanent Judge on March 17, 2018.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Press Release dt. 29-01-2021]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court:The Division Bench of Ravi Shanker Jha, CJ. and Arun Palli, J., upheld the impugned order of Single Judge whereby, the Single Judge had held that the appellant is not entitled to pensionary benefits as he has resigned from service.

The petitioner joined the services of Punjab National Bank in the year 1963 and due to personal reasons, after rendering 25 years of service; he submitted his resignation on 05-01-1988, which was accepted belatedly by the bank on 14-10-1991 with effect from 05-02-1988. Petitioner requested the Bank to release his retiral benefits including gratuity, provident fund, leave encashment, sick leave salary and arrears of increments. The claim of the petitioner had been resisted by the Bank in view of Regulation 22(1) of the Punjab National Bank(Employees’)Pension Regulations, 1995, Which is extracted herein below:-

22. Forfeiture of service(1) Resignation or dismissal or removal or termination of an employee from service of the Bank shall entail forfeiture of his entire past service and consequently shall not qualify for pensionary benefits.”

The Single Judge while considering the issue of pension relied on the judgment of Supreme Court rendered in Senior Divisional Manager, Life Insurance Corporation of India v.. Shree Lal Meena, (2019) 4 SCC 479, and Uco Bank v. Sanwar Mal, 2004(4) SCC 412, wherein, the Court had held that, In a self financing scheme, a separate fund is earmarked as the Scheme is not based on budgetary support but on adequate contributions from the members of the fund. Retirement is allowed only on completion of qualifying service which is not there in the case of resignation. When such a retiree opts for self financing Pension Scheme, he brings in accumulated contribution earned by him after completing qualifying number of years of service under the Provident Fund Rules whereas a person who resigns may not have adequate credit balance to his provident fund account. Similarly, the pension payable to the beneficiaries under the Scheme would depend on income accruing on investments and unless there is adequate corpus, the Scheme may not be workable and, therefore, Regulation 22 prescribes a disqualification to dismissed employees and employees who have resigned.

 On the basis of above-mentioned precedent, the Single Judge had held that there was no doubt that the petitioner had invited the forfeiture of pension by his own conduct and, therefore, no interference was called for by the Court to that extent. However, regarding the other claims, the Court observed that the same had been withheld by the Bank without any plausible explanation.  Therefore, the Court had directed the Bank to make requisite calculations and give benefits of all the retiral benefits except pension, to the petitioner by reckoning his date of resignation as 14-10-1991. The petitioner was also granted interest at 8% per annum on the amount, which was found due and payable to him.

In the light of above, the Bench dismissed the appeal holding that it did not find any reason to interfere with the order passed by the Single Judge, as the Single Judge had already granted adequate relief to the appellant. [Kanwar Kesri Singh v. Punjab National Bank, 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 2359, decided on 19-02-2020]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT): The Coram of Dr Deepti Mukesh (Judicial Member) and Sumita Purkayastha (Technical Member), reiterated that any shortfall in gratuity payable to employees has to be made over by the Resolution Professional and payment of dues has to be paid outside the waterfall mechanism provided under Section 53 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

The instant application was filed by Sandeep Tyagi on behalf of 52 Ex-Employees of MOSER BAER ELECTRONICS LTD. who sought directions to release the lawful dues of the ex-employees who submitted their resignation prior to the initiation of the CIRP process.

FACTS

Facts pertaining to the present case are that the Corporate Debtor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MOSER BAER INDIA LIMITED. It is stated that all the employees were forced to resign by the ex-management by March 2019. Further, it was stated that, they were not paid their dues.

The dues were not settled by the ex-management of the Corporate Debtor citing financial instability.

As an application for CIRP was preferred by Autonix Lighting Private Limited (Operational Creditor) under Section 9 of the IBC on account of default. Mr Hemant Sharma was appointed at the Interim Resolution Professional of the Corporate Debtor.

Applicant stated that the Corporate debtor did not deposit Provident Fund till their dates of resignation respectively. The salary slips of the ex-employees show that Provident Fund was deducted every month but admittedly it was not deposited with the EPFO.

Applicant relied on the decision of Principal Bench in CA (PB) No. 19 (PB) of 2019 dated 19-03-2019 filed by the Moser Baer Karamchari Union of the MOSERBAER INDIA LIMITED (Holding Company) against the Resolution Professional in CP No. (IB) 378(PB)/2017 Alchemist Asset Reconstruction Co. Ltd. v. Moser Baer India Limited for release of their dues.

It was observed that the above-stated Order dated 19-03-2019 of the Adjudicating Authority had been challenged before the Appellate Authority. In the Order dated 19-08-2019, the Appellate Authority upheld the same and stated the following:

“Para 24- Once the liquidation estate/asset of the Corporate Debtor under Section 36(1) read with Section 36(3), do not include all sum due to any workman and employees from the provident fund, the pension fund and the gratuity fund, for the purpose of distribution of assets under Section 53, the provident fund, the pension fund and the gratuity fund cannot be included.

Para 25- The Adjudicating Authority having come to such finding that the aforesaid funds i.e., the provident fund, the pension fund and the gratuity fund do not come within the meaning of liquidation estate’ for the purpose of distribution of assets under Section 53. we find no ground to interfere with the impugned order dated 19th March, 2019.”

Bench while parting with the decision held that it would like to fall in line with the ratio laid down by the Principal Bench:

“…any shortfall in gratuity has to be made over by the Resolution Professional and payments of the dues has to be paid outside the waterfall mechanism.”

Bench directed the Resolution Professional to release the dues of the ex-employees and deposit the Provident Fund with EPFO and release Gratuity dues forthwith.[Autonix Lighting Industries (P) Ltd. v. Moser Baer Electronics Ltd., 2020 SCC OnLine NCLT 1111, decided on 19-11-2020]


Advocates for parties:

For Resolution Professional: Milan Singh

For Applicant: Advocate Swarnendu Chatterjee


Ed. Note: See, however, the judgment of NCLAT in Savan Godiwala v. Apalla Siva Kumar, 2020 SCC OnLine NCLAT 191.

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President has accepted the resignation of Shri Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

2. The President has been pleased to appoint Shri Manoj Sinha, to be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office vice Shri Girish Chandra Murmu.


Press Communique

[Dt. 06-08-2020]

Rashtrapati Bhavan


Image credits: The Indian Express

Appointments & TransfersNews

Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal has tendered her resignation from the office of Judge, Delhi High Court, in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from 30th May, 2020.

Heres’ the Notification: NOTIFICATION


Ministry of Law and Justice

Notification dt. 21-05-2020

Appointments & TransfersNews

Justice Satyaranjan Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari tendered his resignation from the Office of Judge, Bombay High Court in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from 15-02-2020.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 26-02-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by PTI,

The second senior-most Judge of the Bombay High Court has tendered his resignation.

On Friday, Justice Dharmadhikari told a lawyer in his court that he has resigned.

He made the announcement when the lawyer, Mathew Nedumpara, mentioned a petition seeking for the court to hear it next week.

“I have demitted the office. Today is my last day,” Justice Dharmadhikari told in the court.

Justice Dharmadhikari, who was made judge of the Bombay High Court on 14-11-2003, was in line to be elevated as Chief Justice.


[Source: PTI]

Hot Off The PressNews

Resignation of Justice Anant Bijay Singh 

Justice Anant Bijay Singh has tendered his resignation from the office of Judge, Jharkhand High Court, with effect from 20-01-2020.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 24-01-2020]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

S.O. 202(E).—Shri Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale, Member (Judicial), Lokpal has tendered his resignation from the office of Member (Judicial), Lokpal in pursuance of proviso (a) to Section 6 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 with effect from the afternoon of 12-01-2020.


Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

[Notification dt. 14-01-2020]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

The President is pleased to accept the resignation of Shri Kaushik Chanda, Senior Advocate from the position of Additional Solicitor General of India for the High Court of Calcutta with effect from 20-09-2019.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 06-11-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

F.No. J-11013/3/2017-Judicial (Part-2)—The President is pleased to accept the resignation of Shri Prabhuling K. Navadgi, Senior Advocate from the position of Additional Solicitor General of India for the High Court of Karnataka with effect from 16-09-2019.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 19-09-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by media, one of the deputy governors of RBI named Viral Acharya has resigned from his position 6 months before completing his term.

It has been stated that “His academic views of the financial system was in contrast with the rest of the system. ”

Quoted from Economic Times “In the latest monetary policy meeting, Governor Das and Dr Acharya differed strongly on the state of the fiscal deficit and how to account for that. 
While Governor Das said that it was unfair to club the borrowings of state-run enterprises into the state of fiscal deficit, Acharya said that the borrowing requirement of PSUs matters to the overall deficit. “


[Source: Economic Times]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: The Bench of Sindhu Sharma, J. dismissed the petition for revocation of the resignation of the petitioner’s post which was accepted by the respondent officer 7 years back. 

The petitioner, a follower, appointed on compassionate grounds in J&K Armed Police submitted an application to the respondents stating therein that he is not in a position to continue his services due to some domestic problems and tendered resignation from services which was accepted by the respondent and was struck of the record.

H. Shah, Advocate for the petitioner submitted that he was not in good mental health when the resignation was submitted and prayed for termination/revocation of the resignation and sought permission to perform his duties as a follower.

The respondent’s counsel, Sanchit Verma, made his submission that the petitioner had resigned from services, seven years back, on his own accord which was accepted by him and consequently his name was struck off from the rolls. 

The Court held that an employee can revoke/terminate the permission of resignation from the services during the continuation of service and not when the name was struck off from the list of employees.  The Court relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Jai Ram v. Union of India, AIR 1954 SC 584  in which it was held that It may be conceded that it is open to a servant, who has expressed a desire to retire from service and applied to his superior officer to give him the requisite permission, to change his mind subsequently and ask for cancellation of the permission thus obtained; but he can be allowed to do so long as he continue in service and not after it has terminated.”  

Thus the present appeal was dismissed by the tribunal on the ground of being devoid of the merit. [Anjum Hussain v. State of J&K, 2019 SCC OnLine J&K 401, Order dated  26-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: The Bench of Gita Mittal, CJ and Sanjeev Kumar, J. dismissed the appeal filed against the order wherein a direction to the appellants was given to consider the case of the respondent which was in relation to his unreleased salary.

The facts of the case are that the respondent (writ petitioner) was working as a daily rated worker with the appellants in the position of a Helper. The respondent was absent from duty from October 1986 and that despite issuance of a notice, he did not report for duties. The appellants claimed that the respondent submitted his resignation in 1987 which was sent to the higher authorities for instructions. However, this resignation did not culminate in any final order of acceptance. Even otherwise, the appellants were unable to support this assertion on their part for the reason that they were unable to produce any record relating to this resignation. The respondent thus disputed the fact of having given any resignation. The respondent was compelled to file a writ petition for the reason that his salary was not released.

The Court held that the appellants had not passed any formal order of termination of the services of the respondent thus the directions made in the writ petition by the impugned order were fully justified and could not be faulted on any legally tenable ground. It was also directed that for the period the respondent remained unauthorizedly absent from duty, he would not be paid salary. The appeal was thus dismissed. [Power Development Deptt. v. Javaid Ahmad Mir, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 1047, Order dated 14-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

“No authority can stop inter-caste or intersect marriage.”

Meghalaya High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of S.R. Sen, J. allowed a petition while expressing anguish and displeasure over the matter concerning the inter-caste or inter-sect marriage.

In the present case, the petitioner was working as an assistant teacher and was discharging his duties in full satisfaction. On the completion of 3 years and 5 months of service at the same position, the petitioner was verbally asked by respondent 7 to resign from his post and the reason behind the said action was that “the petitioner had married a lady from a different denomination which belonged to the Roman Catholic Church”.

For the above-said facts, petitioner had filed a written complaint to respondent 3 stating the discrimination actions. On acting in regard to the complaint filed, in the month of July 2018 petitioner was asked to come to the office of respondent 3 in which petitioner was given an assurance that the matter would be taken up, but till date, no positive response has been received. Petitioner was forced to resign from his post without any semblance of any complaint which was in gross violation of the principles of natural justice. Hence, the instant petition was filed by the petitioner.

Counsel for the petitioner Mr P Nongbri stated that respondent’s 7 and 8 refused to accept the notice of the Court. Further learned GA  Mr K. Baruaa ppearing on behalf of respondent 1-6 stated that government also issued a show cause notice but respondent’s 7 and 8 chose to remain silent on the same.

Thus, the High Court, while relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in Arumugam Servai v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2011) 6 SCC 405 in which it was stated that:

“Caste system is a curse on the nation and the sooner it is destroyed the better. Inter-caste marriages are in fact in the national interest as they will result in destroying the caste system.”

The bench in the stated decision observed that:

“We sometimes hear of ‘honour’ killings of such persons who undergo inter-caste or inter-religious marriage of their own free will. There is nothing honorable in such killings; in fact, they are nothing but barbaric and shameful acts of murder committed by brutal, feudal minded persons who deserve harsh punishment. Only in this way can we stamp out such acts of barbarism.”

Therefore, in the present case, the bench expressed shock that in the 21st century such a narrow outlook is still being carried out. Respondent’s 7 and 8 were directed to reinstate the petitioner immediately without any further delay and to clear all his dues, salary and other benefits along with a compensation of Rs 50,000 to be paid to the petitioner. [Dasuklang Kharjana v. State of Meghalaya, 2018 SCC OnLine Megh 287, decided on 20-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court:  A writ petition by former employees of the respondent bank who asserted that differentiating between ‘resignation’ and ‘voluntary retirement’ was bad in law and unjustified, was dismissed by a Division Bench comprising of M.S. Karnik and A.A. Sayed, JJ. The petitioners’ contention was that since they had been employees of the bank for more than 20 years and had resigned because they had no provision pertaining to voluntary retirement upon completion of 20 years of service, they were entitled to be covered under the Bank of India (Employees) Pension Regulations, 1995.

The Regulations of 1995 provided for entitlement to avail pension after 20 years of service on grounds of voluntary retirement for persons retiring between 1986 and 1993. The petitioners resigned between the aforementioned period and sought that the court declare ‘retirement’ to include ‘resignation’.

The Court rejected their contentions, accepted the cases put forward by the respondent, relied on the definition of ‘retirement’ under the Regulations and held that under service jurisprudence, the concept of resignation is not covered under retirement. Since the petitioners’ employment terms were governed by the Officers Service Regulation, 1979, the Court came to the conclusion that they were not entitled to receive pension under the new scheme. Therefore, the petitioners had voluntarily relinquished their services. [Hutoxi Noshir Shroff v. Bank of India,  2017 SCC OnLine Bom 6600, decided on 21.07.2017]