HC quashes Sashastra Seema Bal’s order accepting resignation of its threatened Kashmiri troopers

HC quashes Sashastra Seema Bal’s order accepting resignation of its threatened Kashmiri troopers

SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has quashed an order by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) as per which the paramilitary force had accepted its two troopers’ resignation tendered under a threat from militants.
Disposing of a petition by the troopers—Mudasir Bashir and Safi ullah—through their counsel Asif Maqbool, a single bench of justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar also directed the SSB to deem both of them in continuous service and pay them consequential benefits.
While undergoing training at SSB’s Centre at Barauni Bihar, the duo had tendered resignations due to the threatening letters received by their parents from the militants. Later, they approached the concerned authorities of SSB with the plea that the resignations were not voluntary, but to no avail.
Subsequently, they approached the High Court in 2009, and the court ordered SSB in 2013 to reexamine their case in light of the claims made by them.
The court had also observed that the SSB was not expected to summarily accept their resignations but to consider the circumstances in which they were forced to put in their papers.
In pursuance to the court order, the director general of SSB passed an order on October 15, 2013, holding their claim as untenable.
Subsequently, the duo again approached the High Court and besides the October 15, 2013 order, they also challenged March 20, 2006, order by the commandant of the training centre, accepting their resignations.
Their counsel, Asif Maqbool, pleaded that the resignations were not voluntary but forced by the circumstances.
He said that the parents of the duo were sent threatening letters by one militant organisation, in which, it was stated that in case their sons did not resign from the force, then they will be killed.
They also placed on record a copy of the communication sent to their parents by the militant organisation.
“Perusal of the communication would show that fathers’ of the petitioners were informed that their children, who stand appointed in the (force), be called back within a week’s time.
They were threatened that in case the instruction was not complied with, then, besides burning their residential houses, the fathers of these petitioners will be sent to hell,” the court observed.
While the commandant of the training centre of SSB Barauni had admitted in his reply to the court that the resignation was tendered by them because of the threat from the militants, the SSB had maintained that the resignations were voluntary and accordingly accepted.
“The case set up by the petitioners, supported by the material on record, it is clear that resignations tendered by them were not voluntary,” the court said, adding that in common sense as also in Service Jurisprudence, the act of tendering resignation presupposes that the same is voluntary and is tendered by its author out of his/her free will and volition.
“The moment it is shown, by credible material, that an employee was forced to tender resignation, same loses its legal effect and also ceases to be a voluntary resignation. In the admitted fact position of this case, the resignations tendered by the petitioners were not voluntary and in law same cannot be said to be resignations,” the court said and quashed the March 20, 2006, by the commandant of the training centre as well as October 15, 2013, by the director general of SSB.