SRINAGAR: Resignation tendered under threat or duress is invalid, the J&K high court has ruled.
“A document can be said to be a resignation only when it is shown that the person has tendered it out of her/his own free will and without there being any threat or duress. Tendering of resignation must have freedom of choice to do the same,” a single bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar while declaring as nullity the resignation of a woman constable, Masrat Jan, who had put her papers after receiving a call from unknown persons, threatening her to kill along with family if she joined the police department.
She was appointed on 1st November 1999 and because of the threat, tendered the resignation.
However, she later approached the high court, seeking its indulgence for her reinstating in police again.
On 9 November 2010, the court directed the government to look into the matter and take a “compassionate view” after taking into consideration the facts and circumstances in her quitting the job.
While there was no headway as regards her reinstatement, she again approached the court by a filing a review petition.
“The fact recorded in the judgment (on 9 November 2010) that (she) had submitted her resignation due to threat to her person and family members has not been disputed by the respondents (authorities) and has attained finality,” the court said, observing the resignation by her was not voluntary but was tendered due to the threat to her person and family members.
“This would not constitute a resignation in law. It is held that in the facts and circumstances of this case there was no resignation in law tendered by (her), though in fact resignation letter was submitted by her, which contention is also denied by her in the review petition,” the court said and observed that her termination from the service was nullity in law.
“Guarantees contained in Article 14, 16 and 21 of the Constitution stand violated in this case. (She) would be deemed to be continuing in service. However, she shall not be entitled to full monitory benefits for the period for which she remained out of service. She would be entitled for some monitory benefits for which appropriate orders will be passed by the (authorities,” the court said and recalled its 9 November 2010 order.
Subsequently, the court directed the government to pass appropriate orders and allow her to resume duty forthwith.