10 June 2024


Supreme Court

Shriram Manohar Bande Vs. Uktranti Mandal and Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 337)




Mere non-communication of acceptance of resignation to the employee would not render termination invalid

In the facts of present case, Respondent No. 1 is an educational society. The Appellant came to be appointed as an Assistant Teacher and was discharging his duties accordingly. The Appellant tendered his resignation from the said post on 10th October, 2017. However, vide letter dated 25th October, 2017, he withdrew his resignation. Appellant received a letter stating that he was relieved from his service. Against his termination, the Appellant approached the Tribunal constituted under Section 8 of the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977, and Rules framed thereunder (MEPS Act and Rules).

The Tribunal concluded that, the Appellant had indeed withdrawn his resignation lawfully and the Respondents with a mala fide intent had fabricated the documents i.e., the resolutions of the Committee wherein the resignation was accepted. Accordingly, the Tribunal vide judgment set aside the termination of the Appellant. Being aggrieved, the Respondents approached the High Court. The High Court concluded that, there was material on record to show that the resignation tendered by the Appellant was indeed accepted as per the resolution passed by Respondent No. 2 and there was statutory compliance with the requirements under the MEPS Act and Rules. High Court set aside the findings of the Tribunal.

The document in question was placed before the Tribunal at the stage of evidence, which is an admitted fact. Hence, it was wholly erroneous for the Tribunal to conclude that merely because the document and records were in possession of the management, they would have prepared or fabricated such record. The resolution dated 13th October, 2017 is not a 'manufactured' document.

In light of the intent and interpretation of the relevant Section 7 of MEPS and Rule 40 of the Rules, present Court conclude that, the High Court was right in holding that mere non- communication of acceptance of resignation to the employee would not render the termination invalid.

As per service jurisprudence, the employment is terminated from the date on which the letter of resignation is accepted by the appropriate authority. The Appellant, in this case, tendered his resignation letter on 10th October, 2017 and this resignation letter came be accepted on 14th October, 2017, hence the date of termination of the services of the Appellant for the purpose of adjudication would be 14th October, 2017.

Section 7 of the MEPS Act and Rule 40 of the Rules does not impose any guidelines for acceptance of the resignation upon the management. Therefore, the contention raised by the Appellant about withdrawal of resignation before communication of its acceptance does not hold water. There is no infirmity with the impugned judgment and it does not merit any interference. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Termination Acceptance Legality

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