Not open for employee to withdraw resignation once accepted by competent authority: SC

Read Time: 06 minutes


The appellant, appointed as an Assistant Teacher, resigned on October 10, 2017, but withdrew it on October 25, 2017

The Supreme Court has on April 25, 2024 emphasised that as per service jurisprudence, the employment is terminated from the date on which the letter of resignation is accepted by the appropriate authority.

A bench of Justices P S Narasimha and Aravind Kumar dismissed a petition by Shriram Manohar Bande against the Bombay High Court's order setting aside School Tribunal's order which quashed his termination and directed reinstatement with 50% back wages.

The appellant was appointed as an Assistant Teacher and was discharging his duties accordingly. However, he tendered his resignation from the said post on October 10, 2017. However, October 25, 2017, he withdrew his resignation. The appellant claimed that on November 23,2017, he went to the school to resume his service but he was denied to sign the muster role.

He contended that since he had withdrawn his resignation, and as such respondents could not have prevented him from joining to his duties. He also contended that he had not received any formal communication from respondents of the acceptance of his resignation. 

The appellant also claimed the communication issued by the respondents relieving him from service was illegal and all connected documents therewith were fabricated and merely an afterthought.

Referring to the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977, the bench said, "Mere non communication of acceptance of resignation to the employee would not render the termination invalid. Resignation would be effective on its acceptance, even if the acceptance is not communicated as long as rules or guidelines governing the resignation do not mandate such acceptance of resignation is to be communicated."

In the facts of the matter, the bench said that the committee upon receipt of the resignation letter had placed it before the executive committee, which in turn had resolved by resolution of October 13, 2017 to accept the resignation and in the same resolution it was also resolved to be passed by the school committee, and accordingly the school committee had passed the resolution on October 14, 2017. 

"In fact, there is no ground before us, which was not already dealt with by the High Court in its reasoning and finding, however, we have gone into the facts in detail and reviewed the judgments of the courts below in quite detail only to satisfy our conscience that no injustice has been meted out to appellant," the bench said.

The court relied upon 'North Zone Cultural Centre and another Vs Vedpathi Dinesh Kumar' (2003) which held that it is not open to the public servant to withdraw his resignation after it is accepted by the appropriate authority.

Referring to Section 7 of the MEPS Act and Rule 40 of the Rules, the bench noted that those do not impose any guidelines for acceptance of the resignation upon the management. 

"Hence, the position of law laid down by this Court in North Zone squarely applies to the facts of the present case. Therefore, the contention raised by the appellant about withdrawal of resignation before communication of its acceptance does not hold water," the bench said, finding no infirmity with the high court's judgment.