Tribunal rejects Major's resignation plea in national interest

"Since Major Sumit Sharma is a specialised officer in particular branch (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations) which is already running short of officers... we do not think proper to interfere in this matter as the national interest has higher priority than any other priority," the Tribunal bench headed by Justice A K Mathur and Lt Gen M L Naidu said here.

"Since his services are indispensable to the Army because of his specialised training, therefore, we are not inclined to interfere in the matter," it said. Sharma had filed a plea urging the Tribunal to direct the Army to accept his resignation with immediate effect and relieve him with all the benefits from Service as he had to look after his ailing father.

The officer, posted at Jammu, had contended that his application for compassionate posting to New Delhi to look after his old-aged sick parents, was rejected by his own Unit.

After the death of his mother in 2007, the officer had submitted his resignation with the Army headquarters which was also rejected. The petition was transfered in August 2009 from the Delhi High Court to the Tribunal, which had asked the Army to dispose of his case in six months.

The Army had opposed the resignation by the officer saying Sharma had received specialist UAV training as an observer in 2006 for Israeli-made UAV systems and was suitably employed as per his training.

It had said that there was an acute shortage of officers in the Regiment of Artillery and the criticality was more profound for specialist officers.

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