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The determination of the age of retirement is a matter of executive policy: SC

Chandra Mohan Varma vs State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors., Civil Appeal No. 350-351 of 2020 arising out of SLP (civil) No. 12714-12715 of  2019.

The appeal was filed before the bench comprising of the Justice Dr. Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and the Justice Ajay Rastogi, against the order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad for dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The appellant whose date of birth is 13 August 1954, joined as an ad-hoc lecturer at GVSM  Medical College, Kanpur on 17 April 1986. In August 2014, he was working as a professor in Cardiology and as Head of the Department. He was  due to retire on the age of 60 on 13 August 2014 as per the terms of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules which governs the retirement age of government servants. The appellant sought a Mandamus for his continuance in service until he attains the age of 65 as per the notification dated 6 February 2015 by the Government of Uttar Pradesh extending the age of retirement from 60-65. But the appellant attained the age of superannuation before issuance of the notification. However the appellant had been granted the ‘session benefit’ of an extension of service up to 30 June 2015.

The main issue framed by the bench is, Whether the appellant was entitled to the benefit of increase in the age of retirement from 60-65 years as a consequence of the notification dated 6 February 2015 ?

Here the contention of the appellant is that he is entitled to the extension in the age of retirement, as per the notification issued by the state. This claim has been repealed by the High Court on the grounds that,

The order extending the age of retirement had not come during the service of petitioner.

Even if it had, it would not have the effect of enhancing the age of superannuation prescribed in Rule 56(a) which stood unamended.

The court held that, The date on which the employee attains the age of superannuation is prescribed by the fundamental rules. The UP Fundamental Rules were notified under section 241(2)(b) of the Government of India Act, 1935. Rule 56(a) provides that,

“Except as otherwise provided in the Rule, every Government Servant shall retire from the service on the afternoon of the last day of the month in which he attains the age of sixty years”.

The state government has clearly specified that the notification issued for the enhancement of retirement age would not apply to the teachers who had already crossed the age of superannuation. Accordingly, the appellant had crossed the age of 60 while issuing the notification. As the determination of age of retirement is a matter of executive policy, the court came to the conclusion that, “the appellant was not entitled to the benefit of the enhancement of the age of retirement”.

Thus the bench decided that the appeal shall stand dismissed and if any application is pending regarding the case shall be disposed off.

–  Prithisha S

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