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Tanweer Alam v/s U.P. Cooperative Spinning Mills Fed. Ltd.

    Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 47852 of 2000

    Decided On, 31 August 2017

    At, High Court of Judicature at Allahabad


    For the Petitioner: K.M. Chitra Dikshit, P.K. Dixit, Ravi Pratap Singh, Advocates. For the Respondents: R. Tewari, Dhananjay Awasthi, Rakesh Tewari, Advocates.

Judgment Text

Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, J.

1. Heard Shri Ravi Pratap Singh, learned counsel for the petitioner and Shri Dhananjay Awasthi, learned counsel for the respondent.

2. The dispute in this petition is about the resignation tendered by the petitioner expressing his intention to quit his services from the post of Labour Officer in the respondent-Spinning Mill, and his subsequent withdrawal of the said intention, which according to the petitioner was not attended to. Consequently, the impugned order of acceptance of resignation dated 7th December, 1998 is vitiated. The prayer therefore is to quash the said order and to treat the petitioner to have been continuing in service and extend him all consequential benefits.

3. We had heard the arguments on a previous occasion and on the issue of fact relating to the tendering of an application for withdrawing of resignation, we had called upon the learned counsel for the respondent to file a better affidavit. The order passed on 8.8.2017 is extracted herein under:-

"Heard learned counsel for the petitioner.

This is a writ petition by an erstwhile Labour Officer, who while working at the unit of the Federation in Farrukhabad tendered a letter of resignation on 1st September, 1998. The petitioner alleges that he had tendered another letter dated 30th November, 1998 withdrawing his letter of resignation as it had not been accepted by then. During the pendency of the writ petition, the petitioner has also sought an amendment application that was allowed bringing on record the letter of acceptance of resignation dated 7th December, 1998 and praying for its quashing on the ground that the petitioner had already withdrawn the resignation as such there was no occasion for having accepted the same.

The issue, therefore, is as to whether the petitioner had withdrawn his resignation and whether the rules do permit any such withdrawal.

For this, the petitioner has filed on record the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Spinning Mills Central Service Rules, 1993. However, Sri Ravi Pratap Singh, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the said rules would not be applicable in the present controversy and the dispute would be governed by the Manual of Service Bye-laws adopted by the Board in its meeting held on 30th March, 1978 which is described as the U.P. State Spinning Mills Company (No. 1) (Recruitment and Service Conditions) Bye-laws, 1978. The said Manual of Service Bye-laws in Clause (6) of Chapter 3 provides for an option of the employee to quit the services. The same is extracted here-in-under:-

"6. Option of permanent employee to quit service? (1) Every permanent employee shall have the option to quit the service by giving to the appointing authority three months notice or paying to the Corporation an amount equal to his pay for three months, or such lesser period by which the notice falls short of three months :

Provided that the appointing authority may, in any special case, waive the required period of notice or realization of the amount in lieu of notice, in whole or in part.

(2) Such quintal shall have the effect of dis-entitling the employee of all such terminal benefits as are admissible to employees retiring/superannuating in normal course under the applicable rules.

Provided that nothing in this bye-law shall deprive the employee from receiving back the amounts deposited by him with the Corporation from time to time together with interest, if any, allowable on such deposits in normal course.

(3) As an exception to sub-bye-law (1), it shall be open to the appointing authority to disallow the exercise of the option if any disciplinary proceedings are pending or are contemplated against the employee."

Sri Dhananjay Awasthi, learned counsel for the respondents does not dispute the applicability of the aforesaid rules on the facts of the present case. Thus, the aforesaid rule being applicable, it has now to be seen as to whether the petitioner had an option to withdraw the same and if so, whether he had tendered the letter of withdrawal as alleged by him.

This is necessary to be gone into as the respondents in their counter affidavits have categorically denied the receipt of any such letter of withdrawal to which the petitioner has come up with a reply in paragraph no. 4 of the rejoinder affidavit asserting that the petitioner had tendered the said letter by registered post as well and according to the information received from the concerned post office, the said letter had been delivered to the respondent addressee on 5th December, 1998. Thus, according to the petitioner if the letter of withdrawal had been received by the respondents on 5th December, 1998, they could not have proceeded to accept the resignation on 7th December, 1998.

Sri Awasthi contends that this averment about tendering of the letter of withdrawal by registered post has surfaced for the first time in the rejoinder affidavit. In such circumstances, the respondent would like to file a reply to the same. Sri Awasthi prays for and is granted three weeks' time for the said purpose.

List immediately thereafter.

It shall be open to the petitioner to file a reply in the event any such affidavit is served on the counsel for the petitioner."

4. Learned counsel for the respondent has filed an affidavit sworn by Shri K.S. Dwivedi and in paragraph no. 2 of the said affidavit it has been categorically averred that the letter dispatched by the petitioner for withdrawing his resignation had been received in the office on 5th December, 1998. In para no. 3 it is stated that even then, though the said letter had been received in the office, the same could not be placed before the Managing Director when the impugned order was passed accepting the resignation on 7th December, 1998.

5. Learned counsel for the petitioner advancing his submissions has invited the attention of the Court once again to Clause 6 of Chapter-III extracted here-in-above. It is urged that this option that was exercised for resigning from the office had already been withdrawn and the factum of the application for withdrawing the resignation now becomes undisputed which is obviously prior to the date of the passing of the impugned order.

6. It is in this background that the contention urged is that according to the said rule, acceptance is required as resignation is dependent on a bilateral act and is subject to the contingencies referred to therein. Since the resignation had not been accepted and the petitioner had filed an application for withdrawing the same, the Managing Director could not have proceeded to accept the resignation letter without adverting to the withdrawal that had already been received in the office as admitted in the affidavit filed today. It is therefore contended that the acceptance is invalid and deserves to be quashed.

7. Learned counsel for the respondent, however submitted that so far as the tendering of the resignation of the petitioner is concerned, it was not preceded by fulfilling the terms and conditions specified therein inasmuch as the petitioner had not made the deposit as prescribed therein. The tendering may, therefore, have been an inappropriate exercise by the petitioner but his intention to resign has been rightly accepted by the answering respondents and the petitioner had no right whatsoever to withdraw from the said intention to quit services. It is urged that the Managing Director admittedly had not been informed of the withdrawal application at all and therefore the impugned order cannot be said to be vitiated on that ground.

8. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the affidavits that have been exchanged. The facts that have been placed on record demonstrate that the petitioner had tendered his resignation to the respondent Managing Director on 1st, September 1998. He however proceeded to dispatch a letter which is dated 2nd December, 1998 explicitly withdrawing his resignation letter that was admittedly received on 5th December, 1998. These facts being on record it is clear that the withdrawal application was not attended to by the respondent no. 2, Managing Director while passing the order dated 7.12.1998. Thus this by itself vitiates the impugned order and for this we find support from the decisions of the Apex Court as applied and followed by this Court in the case of Mrs. Rabia Sultana Wife Of Javed v. Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University, 2006 (2) AWC 1376.

9. The rules that are applicable leav

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e no room for doubt that even assuming that the petitioner had not complied with the preconditions contains in Clause 6 of the Rules, then the obvious conclusion is that the resignation letter itself was invalid. In spite of this the petitioner had moved an application for withdrawing the same. The acceptance of an invalid letter of resignation and coupled with the fact that the withdrawal application had already been filed and was not considered, the acceptance order dated 7th December, 1998 would not become a valid order. The impugned order of acceptance therefore is unsustainable the same is hereby quashed. The writ petition is allowed with all consequential benefits to the petitioner. The respondent shall pass an appropriate order releasing all consequential benefits within three months from the date of production of certified copy of this order. 10. It will be open to the respondents to extend only such benefits as may be permissible in law.