LE Staff  

Chandigarh, July 1, 2021: A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the acceptance of voluntary retirement or resignation of a government employee cannot be agitated after an unreasonable delay.

The case pertains to the petition of a science teacher hired by the Punjab government in 1973.  

 After almost 21 years of service, the said teacher immigrated to the USA in 1993 and took two year’s time in applying for voluntary retirement in April, 1995. Thereafter, he sent his resignation on June 10, 1995

 The state government, however, did not accept his resignation even after the teacher sent various representations.

In his petition that has already been dismissed by a Single Judge in February this year, the former teacher prayed that his request for voluntary retirement made back in 1995 be accepted and he be also given all the consequential benefits.

Now deciding upon the petitioner’s appeal, the bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh stated that it is true that limitation does not strictly apply to writ petitions, nevertheless such an issue like acceptance of voluntary retirement or resignation of the government employee cannot be agitated after an unreasonable delay of approximately 24 years.

In the present case, the appellant remained away from India and did not bother to agitate the matter in question for years and he issued legal notice only on February 19, 2020.

The High Court held that in these circumstances, the learned Single Judge rightly observed that the writ petition suffers from huge delay and laches, which have not been explained by the appellant, and consequently dismissed the writ petition with costs of Rs. 50,000 to be deposited with ‘Poor Patients Welfare Fund’ of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, personally or through its website ‘www.pgimer.edu.in’.

“In the light of the above, we are of the considered view that the appeal is devoid of merits and even no ground is made out for waiver of the costs imposed by the learned Single Judge,” the order added.

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