THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A senior ISRO scientist applies for Voluntary Retirement from Service (VRS), then has second thoughts and requests to withdraw his application. But, to his dismay, the Department of Space (DoS) refuses to oblige.
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has come to the rescue of K R Radhakrishnan, deputy general manager, ISEP/Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvananthapuram, whose VRS notice was accepted even though he subsequently requested that it be cancelled.
The CAT, Ernakulam Bench, has directed Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre/Department of Space (DoS) to reinstate Radhakrishnan within two months.
“The period of absence should be treated as on-duty with salary and allowances,” the CAT has ordered.
Radhakrishnan, while working as Scientist/Engineer SG at IISU applied for VRS on July 22, 2010. He requested that he be relieved with effect from November 15, 2010.
On November 11, 2010, Radhakrishnan requested that he be allowed to stay on. But the same day, he was informed that his VRS application was accepted and that he would be relieved of his duties four days later. Radhakrishnan retired on November 15, 2010, but approached the CAT.
ISRO was of the stand that once an application for VRS was accepted, it is settled law that any request for withdrawing the application also should require acceptance by the competent authority. The authority, in this case, the DOS, considered the request, but did not accept it. But the CAT chose to take a liberal view, citing several prior verdicts, and ruled that Radhakrishnan should be taken back into service.
“The case of the applicant is pure and simple. He had applied for retirement and before the intended date of retirement, he chose to withdraw the same. In between, no alternative arrangement has been made, nor is the post likely to be abolished. In fact, the services of an experienced scientist may only be useful to the organisation. Thus, the decision of the respondents to refuse approval for withdrawal of the letter of retirement has to be held bad in law,” the CAT noted.