Phukan, J. -
(1.)In this appeal by special leave the appellant has assailed the judgment dated 21-6-1999 passed by the Patna High Court in LPA No. 57 of 1999 (R). By the impugned judgment the Division Bench affirmed the judgment of the learned single Judge dated 3-2-1999 passed in CWJC No. 2970 of 1997 (R).
(2.)The appellant joined the respondent-company as a Draftsman Trainee in the year 1964 and was promoted to the post of General Foreman (Electrical). On October 12, 1995, the respondent-company issued an improved Voluntary Retirement Scheme (for short 'VRS') giving more benefits to the employees, which was effective from 12th October, 1995 to 18th October, 1995. The appellant applied for voluntary retirement on 18th October, 1995 under the scheme, which was accepted by the Management on 30th July, 1997 with the condition that the release memo along with details particulars will follow. On August 7, 1997, the appellant sent a letter withdrawing his option from the VRS by registered post but no response was received by him from the respondents. Again on September 27, 1997 another letter was sent by the appellant withdrawing his option from the scheme. This letter was received on 25th September, 1997 but there was no reply from the respondent. The respondent-company issued a memorandum on 25th September, 1997 releasing the appellant from the service of the company w.e.f. 26th September, 1997 (afternoon). The appellant filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution before the High Court challenging the said release order, which was dismissed by the learned single Judge and it was upheld by the impugned judgment. That is how the matter is before us.
(3.)This appeal came up for final hearing before a Division Bench of this Court and by order dated April 13, 2000, the appeal was allowed on the reasoning that the appellant was not relieved from service and was allowed to continue in service till 26-9-1997, which, for all practical purpose would be the "effective date" as it was on this date that he was relieved from service. As the appellant had already withdrawn the offer fromVRS on7-8-1997, the resignation in spite of its acceptance could be withdrawn before the said "effective date" and, therefore,such withdrawal was valid in law [See Shambhu Murari Sinha vs. Project and Development India and another (2000) 5 SCC 62. The Division Bench relied on the following decisions of this Court namely Balram Gupta vs. Union of India (1987) Suppl. SCC 228, J. N. Srivastava vs. Union of India (1998) 9 SCC 559 and Power Finance Corpn. Ltd. vs. Pramod Kumar Bhatia (1997) 4 SCC 280.