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Leave for educational purpose

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I am working in a public sector bank and want leave for educational purpose. I am pursuing a course in distance education mode. The examination is going to conduct very soon. A date has fixed. I want leave for appearing in the examination. Can I claim the leave as a right? Can I move legally if bank management is not permitting leave?

Question from: Kerala (Service Matters)

You want a leave for the specific purpose i.e. leave for appearing in the examination. Such a leave is not a matter of right; the employer can refuse to grant special leave on the ground of administrative exigencies. In State of Punjab v. Dr. Sanjay Kumar Bansal, (2009) 15 SCC 168; the Supreme Court held that special leave is not a matter of right vested in the employee. It depends on the administrative exigencies.

When you apply for the leave the concerned authority must take fair and reasonable decision. He should consider your application in respect of these facts and circumstances:

  • Contingencies which may arise in the course of administration.
  • The services of an employee may be required in a given case on more emergent basis vis-à-vis other employees.
  • The services rendered by an employee, his seniority, the nature of work which he is required to do, his responsibilities, etc.

While refusing the leave the concerned authority must satisfy his decision on the basis of fairness and administrative exigencies. If he discriminates or took arbitrary decision, then you can challenge the order of refusal.

You can file a mandamus writ

The public sector bank also comes under the meaning of State as defined by Article 12 of the constitution of India. So, you can prefer an writ of mandamus before the High Court and challenge the legality of refusal order.

Don’t absent without taking a leave

If you remain absent without taking a leave, then it will constitute a grave misconduct. The concerned authority can issue a show cause notice. To avoid any further trouble, you should take a proper leave. Moreover, you have a genuine cause for the leave; hence, you’ll get it easily.

Each employee has the right to enrich his skill by doing advance or professional courses. You are doing a distance learning course for the advancing of your professional skill. This is a genuine cause and unless there is extreme administrative exigency the concerned authority should not refuse to grant leave.

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