Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 18
The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has ruled that opting for pre-mature is not a right vested with an employee that can be exercised at any time at the sweet will of an officer nor a right available under the statute or rules framed by the organistaion.
Upholding the rejection of a request for pre-mature retirement of a woman Army doctor, the AFT said that it is for the competent authority to take a decision based on due analysis of various aspects, including administrative and service exigencies.
A woman Lieutenant Colonel had put in a request for pre-mature requirement citing supersession and family commitments. She had taken a three-year study leave for doing a super-specialty course in surgery and as per rules, was required to serve for at least 11 years after completion of the course, which was till 2028.
The AFT did not accept her contention that since she was willing to refund the expenses incurred by the government on her super specialization during the study leave, the army cannot refuse to grant her pre-mature retirement. She had also averred that she had genuine reasons for seeking pre-mature retirement which were rejected arbitrarily.
The army contended that seeking pre-mature retirement is not a right by only an option to seek permission for re-mature retirement is available to an officer. In this case, the competent authority did not deem it appropriate to grant permission keeping in view organizational requirements and administrative factors.
The AFT said that as per the terms and conditions of study leave, once a candidate has submitted an application for grant of leave and thereafter gives an undertaking for service liability and pursues the study course, the competent authority, while considering the application for pre-mature retirement is required to take note of service exigencies and other administrative requirements,
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