SANKARANARAYANAN C Vs. STATE OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.) THE petitioner is Original Petition No. 1794 of 1968 is a teacher in an aided school and in Original Petition No. 1795 of 1968 a teacher in a Government school. They question the validity of Ex. P. 5 order passed by the Government on 4 May 1967 reducing the age of retirement of the teachers in Government and aided schools to 55. They contend that the Government is estopped from reducing the age of retirement of the teachers to 55. The petitioner in Original Petition No. 1794 of 1968 also contends that the relevant rule is the Kerala Education Act has not been amended to give effect to Ex. P. 5 order, and therefore, as the rule stands, he can be retired only at the age of 60.
(2.) EXHIBIT P. 2 is a memorandum of the Private School Teachers' Association presented to the Adviser to the Governor in November 1955. In that. , the association raised twelve demands, the eleventh being that the age of retirement of teachers be raised to 60. Exhibit P. 3 is a press release, dated 24 June 1966 and that states that the age of retirement of teachers both in Government and aided schools will be raised to 60 with effect: from 1 July 1966. On 14 July 1966, Government passed an order, Ex. P. 4, stating that the age of retirement of teachers both is Government and aided schools is raised to 58 with effect from 1 July 1986. Thereafter, the Government passed, on 4 May 1967, Ex, P. 5 order, reducing the age of retirement of Government employees and aided school teachers to 55.
(3.) AS regards the contention of the petitioners that Ex. P. 3 embodies the terms of as agreement between the Private School Teachers' Association and the Government and that by Ex. P. 4 order, the Government affirmed the right of the teachers of both Government and aided schools to remain in service till they attain the age of 58, and therefore, the Government was bound to honour its promise and was estopped from reducing the age of retirement of the teachers to 55, counsel relied on the recent ruling of the Supreme Court in Union of India v. Anglo Afghan Agencies A. I. R. 1968 S. C. 718. In that case, the Supreme Court said that the Government must honour its promise just, like any other individual, and that a person who acting upon the representation contained is the Export Promotion Scheme adumbrating the policy of Government, makes an application for import licence of wool of a specified value, was entitled to have the licence issued to him notwithstanding the change of policy by the Government in the meanwhile. The court said that where a person had acted upon a representation made in the Export Promotion Scheme, that import licence up to the value of goods, will be issued and has exported goods, his claim for import for the maximum value cannot be arbitrarily rejected, that the doctrine of equitable estoppel is applicable to Government and that the claim of the respondents there was appropriately founded upon the equity which arises in their favour as a result of the representations made on behalf of the Union of India in the Export Promotion Scheme and the action taken by the respondents actiug upon that representation under the belief that Government would carry out the representation made by it. The Court relied on the observations of Denning, J. , it Robertson v. Minister of Pensions (1949) 1 K. B. 227 for distinguishing the decision of Rowiatt, J. , in Amphitrite v. Rex (1921) 3 K. B. 500 and said that executive necessity would not justify Government in not honouring its solemn promises relying on which citizens have acted to their prejudice.;
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