A Single Bench of the Calcutta High Court on June 24, 2020 in the case of Shri Rajendra Bose (“Petitioner”) v. The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (“Defendant”), adjudicated upon the issue as to whether an employee can withdraw his resignation, after the same has been accepted by the employer but before the completion of the notice period being served by the employee?
Facts of the case:
The Petitioner had joined the Defendant in the capacity of a Joint Director on February 10, 2011. Thereafter, from time to time, he served Defendant in different capacities. As on August 7, 2017, the Petitioner was holding the post of Joint Director (Advanced Studies) and Director (Discipline). However, allegedly due to harassment and humiliation faced by the Petitioner from the then President of the Defendant institution, the Petitioner tendered his resignation by letter dated August 7, 2017. The Secretary of the Defendant institution accepted the resignation of the Petitioner vide letter dated August 12, 2017.
Thereafter, on September 25, 2017, the Petitioner again wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Defendant institution, withdrawing his resignation letter. However, the Petitioner did not receive any reply from the Defendant and thus, apprehending that the Defendant may not give effect to his letter withdrawing his resignation and would release him from service on November 6, 2017, filed the instant writ petition before the Calcutta High Court. It is also pertinent to note that on November 10, 2017, the authorities of the Defendant institution had issued an order, releasing the Petitioner from the services of the Defendant.
The issue which arose for consideration before the court was whether the letter of the Petitioner dated September 25, 2017 had the effect of withdrawal of his resignation letter dated August 7, 2017, thereby entitling the Petitioner to continue in service of the Defendant?
Decision of the court:
Arijit Banerjee J., observed that from a meaningful reading of the resignation letter of the Petitioner, it can be concluded that the Petitioner expressed his intention to sever the employer-employee relationship with the Defendant with effect from November 6, 2017 in compliance with clause 4 of his letter of appointment dated February 10, 2011. The court also noted that the aforesaid clause also prescribed three months` notice or pay in lieu of the notice for effecting termination of the services of the Petitioner, by either side.
The Court noted that, it was inclined to accept the submission of the Defendant that, after the offer to resign from a future date has already been accepted, subsequent withdrawal of resignation was not possible. However, it found itself bound by a decision passed by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Dr. P. Chattopadhyay v. The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India, (1987) I Cal LT 179, wherein interpreting the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Union of India v. Gopal Chandra Mishra, (1978) 2 SCC 301, the Division Bench had held that since the resignation was withdrawn before the same became effective, the petitioner was within his jurisdiction, authority and competence to have the same withdrawn. The Single Bench of the Calcutta High Court, in the instant case, observed that it is bound by the aforesaid decision and it is of no relevance whether it agrees with the said decision or not.
Thus, in the light of the aforementioned, the Single Bench of the Calcutta High Court held that, the Petitioner was competent to withdraw his letter of resignation dated August 7, 2017 by issuing his subsequent letter dated September 25, 2017 and such withdrawal was valid in law as the same was done before the resignation took effect.
Please find a copy of the judgment here.
This update has been contributed by Arka Majumdar (Partner) and Kunal Dey (Associate).
11, 1st Floor, Free Press House
215, Nariman Point
Mumbai – 400021
9 – 10 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
Delhi – 110002
+91 11 23701284/5/7
155, ESC House, 2nd floor,
Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase 3,
New Delhi – 110020
68 Nandidurga Road
Bengaluru – 560046
3rd Floor, 27B Camac Street
Kolkata – 700016
The rules of the Bar Council of India do not permit advocates to solicit work or advertise in any manner. This website has been created only for informational purposes and is not intended to constitute solicitation, invitation, advertisement or inducement of any sort whatsoever from us or any of our members to solicit any work in any manner. By clicking on 'Agree' below, you acknowledge and confirm the following:
a) there has been no solicitation, invitation, advertisement or inducement of any sort whatsoever from us or any of our members to solicit any work through this website;
b) you are desirous of obtaining further information about us on your own accord and for your use;
c) no information or material provided on this website is to be construed as a legal opinion and use of this website will not create any lawyer-client relationship;
d) while reasonable care has been taken in ensuring the accuracy of the contents of the website, Argus Partners shall not be responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information provided in this website or for any error or omission in the website; and
e) in cases where the user has any legal issues, the user must seek independent legal advice.