‘Spouse can’t ask for employee’s resignation to be withdrawn’: Karnataka HC

A resignation, once submitted and accepted by the relevant authorities cannot be pulled back unless there is such a legal provision in the employment contract


A resignation, once submitted and accepted by the relevant authorities cannot be pulled back or withdrawn ruled the Karnataka High Court. The Court also ruled that the wife of the employee who has submitted his resignation has no right to seek a withdrawal of the resignation submitted by her husband either.

As per the HC, an employee resigns of his own free will, that is, voluntarily. He is allowed to withdraw the resignation before the concerned authorities have accepted it, but not after it has been accepted, unless there is a rule in the service contract to allow it. Also, the request for withdrawing the resignation should come from the employee who submitted the resignation himself/herself, and not from their spouse.

In the case that was being heard, it was the wife of the employee who was asking that the resignation be withdrawn after it had been accepted in 2021. As per the HC, there is no rule that allows the wife of an employee to seek withdrawal of resignation.

As a result, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit brushed aside the appeal observing that it is not right for any person other than the employee himself/herself to ask for his/her resignation to be withdrawn, and that too without his/her consent. If an employee himself/herself does not wish to continue in service, it is not possible for his/her spouse or even children to force him/her to continue in service.

As reported by LiveLaw, the bench ruled that “an unwilling horse cannot be drawn to the river and made to drink the water, even in the absence of thirst,”


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