It is a settled law that an employee cannot be termed as a slave, he has a right to abandon the service any time voluntarily by submitting his resignation and alternatively, not joining the duty and remaining absent for long. Absence from duty in the beginning may be a misconduct but when absence is for a very long period, it may amount to voluntarily abandonment of service and in that eventuality, the bonds of service come to an end automatically without requiring any order to be passed by the employer.

10. In M/s. Jeewanlal (1929) Ltd., Calcutta v. Its Workmen, AIR 1961 SC 1567, this Court held as under:

“......there would be the class of cases where long unauthorised absence may reasonably give rise to an inference that such service is intended to be abandoned by the employee.”

(See also: Shahoodul Haque v. The Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Bihar & Anr., AIR 1974 SC 1896).

11. For the purpose of termination, there has to be positive action on the part of the employer while abandonment of service is a consequence of unilateral action on behalf of the employee and the employer has no role in it. Such an act cannot be termed as ‘retrenchment’ from service.

(See: State of Haryana v. Om Prakash & Anr., (1998) 8 SCC 733).

12. In Buckingham and Carnatic Co. Ltd. v. Venkatiah & Anr., AIR 1964 SC 1272 while dealing with a similar case, this Court observed : “Abandonment or relinquishment of service is always a question of intention, and normally, such an intention cannot be attributed to an employee without adequate evidence in that behalf.”


Law Web: An employee cannot be termed as a slave, he has a right to abandon service any time voluntarily

From India, Malappuram

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File Type: pdf Employee can leave job at any time - Supreme Court 6.9.2013.pdf (312.2 KB, 1514 views)

Company Secretary In Practice
+2 Others

Dear Sirs,

The judgments of Hon'ble courts shall be very useful for most of us, very true. BUT either myself or some of our friends have misunderstood the verdicts. I understand that :- In all the verdicts, the Hon'ble Courts have not justified the un-authorized absence rather they have defined both the terms - resignation and abandonment of service. In case of resignation, the employee has to tender resignation which is required to be accepted by the employer to complete the terms of termination of employee/employer relationship, whereas in case of abandonment, the employee opts not to resume duty for quite a long period. In such case, it can be inferred by the employer that the employee is no longer interested in continuing employment and in such case, the employer has every right to terminate the employee. This judgment infers that action of management to terminate the absconding employee is right, it does not provide any right or liberty to an employee to abscond or abandon the employment at his own will.

Sirs, if I am mistaken, Law experts are requested to please feel free to correct me. Your valuable opinion in this regard shall be welcome.

Thanks in anticipation of your valued opinions.

AK Jain

HR Personnel


From India, Jabalpur

Entire text of my post has been copied from the order of the Supreme Court and I have not added anything from my side. Relevant portion from para 9 of the Order is again reproduced below:
"...he has a right to abandon the service any time voluntarily by submitting his resignation and alternatively, not joining the duty and remaining absent for long......"
I am attaching more judgements of Supreme Court on the subject as referred in the above case for further study and comments from the readers.

From India, Malappuram

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File Type: rar SC on voluntary abandonment of service.rar (314.0 KB, 275 views)

Any latest cases please? Since we have had 'reformers' by hordes in India, has the law/Supreme court’s view might have changed. Regards, Ganesh
From India, Bangalore
I join in a company two month before at the time of an interview present manager committed me in hand 20k p.m.salary no joining letter and appointment letter in that month i got salary as committed but next month i got salary with 5k difference when I asked to Head office the concerned told she have no any mail communication from Branch manager to pay 20k salary when I asked to manager hi told we discussed and let you,the same thing I informed to MD hi also using the same word i waited three four days but no any response get from company and from that day I am not attend the office and company also not ask why I am not attending the office.
But I worked 18days in that office can how can I get the working days salary because that company have an record they not give salary those employee left job

From India, Pune

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