Once An Issue Has Attained Finality, It Is Not Open For The State To Pass Successive Orders- Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has observed that despite the issue pertaining to the resignation of the appellant attained finality and was legally settled, it was not open for the State to continue passing successive orders.
The Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala observed that “Clearly, it was not open to the State to continue passing successive order of this nature once the dispute over the period of resignation and the manner in which the resignation had to be treated had attained finality. The appellant was not entitled to any consequential benefits only for the period between 18 April 1993 to 23 November 1993.”
Advocate Nachiketa Joshi appeared for the appellant and Advocate Swasti Ghildiyal appeared for the respondent- State.
It was the case of the appellant that she was appointed as an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife in the year 1980 and had submitted her resignation in April 1993 but withdrew it in November 1993. The order accepting the resignation was passed much thereafter in December 1994. This order was set aside by the High Court and directed that the appellant was entitled to all consequential benefits.
However, the Division Bench in the Letters Patent Appeal modified the order of Single Judge to the extent that the appellant was held not to be entitled to any benefits for the period for which the resignation was in force.
The Apex Court said that the expression “for the period for which resignation was in force” could not be stretched to a date after the resignation had been withdrawn in November 1993 before it came into force.
Further, the Apex Court noted that the appellant had been granted voluntary retirement from service in November 2011 and had been granted provisional pension for the last 11 years. The appellant had completed 24 years 10 months and 5 days of pensionable service.
“...we have come to the conclusion that the appellant should be treated to have completed the minimum pensionable service of 25 years. The pensionary dues payable to the appellant shall be computed on that basis regardless of any order which may have been passed by the State government.” said the Apex Court.
Accordingly, the appeal was allowed, and the State was directed to pay the arrears of pension to the appellant within a period of one month thereafter together with interest at the rate of 6% per annum.
Cause Title- Bhartiben Chandrakantbhai Thakor v. State of Gujarat and Others