JAMSHEED KHAN Vs. SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT OF POST OFFICES HYDERABAD DIVISION HYDERABAD
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Senior Superintendent Of Post Offices Hyderabad Division Hyderabad
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CHINNAPPA REDDY,J. -
(1.) The petitioner is a mail sorter employed in the Jubilee Post Office, Hyderabad. He completed thirty years of service on 19th July, 1970. In exercise of the powers conferred by Rule 2(2) the Liberalised Pension Rules, the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices issued a notice to him requiring him to retire from service with effect from three months after the expiry of the receipt of the notice. In this application for the issue of a writ the petitioner challenges this notice and claims a right to continue in service under Fundamental Rule 56 (a) until he attains the age of 58 years. It was urged on behalf of the petitioner that Rule 2(2) of the Liberalised Pension Rules was constitutionally invalid as it gave an unguided and un-channelled power to the Government to choose and subject any officer to the exercise of that power, though ordinarily the officer would have the right to continue in service until he attained the age of 58 years.
(2.) Fundamental Rule 56 (a) states:-
"Except as otherwise provided in this Rule, every Government servant shall retire on the day, he attains the age of fifty eight years." Fundamental Rule 56 (j) which may also be referred to is as follows:-
"Notwithstanding anything contained in this Rule the appropriate authority shall, if it is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so, have the absolute right to retire any Government servant by giving him notice of less than three months in writing or three months' pay and allowances in lieu of such notice;
(i) If he is in Class I or Class II service or post and had entered Government service before attaining the age of thirty five years, after he has attained the age of fifty years.
(ii) In any other case after he has attained the age of fifty five years:
Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to a Government servant referred to in clause (e) who entered Government service on or before 23rd July,1966 and to a Government servant referred to in clause (f)." Rule 2(2) of the Liberalised Pension Rules is as follows:-
"An Officer may retire from service any time after completing 30 years' qualifying service provided that he shall give, in this behalf, a notice in writing to the appropriate authority, at least three months before the date on which he wishes to retire Government may also require an officer to retire any time after he has completed 30 years' qualifying service, provided that the appropriate authority shall give, in this behalf, a notice in writing to the officer, at least three months before the date on which he is required to retire, or three months' pay and allowances in lieu of such notice."
(3.) The argument of Sri D.V. Reddi (Pantulu, learned Counsel for the petitioner was that, rule 2(2) of the Liberalised Pension Rules did indicate any guidelines for the exercise of the power under that Rule and, therefore, it offended Article 14 of the Constitution. Sri Reddi Pantulu urged that it was significant that while Fundamental Rule 56(j) indicated 'public interest' as the guiding factor for the exercise of the power under that rule, rule 2(2) of the Liberalised pension Rules, did give any such indication but instead it conferred absolute power. I do agree with Sri Reddi Pantulu, that there is any contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution. It goes without saying that all Rules made by the President or the Governor in exercise of the powers under Article 309 of the Constitution of India, are made in the public interest with a view to secure honest and efficient civil servants. The interest to be served is the public interest and any individual interest. That is implicit in every Rule made under Article 309 of the Constitution. It is implicit in Rule 2(2) of the Liberalised Pension Rules, which are made by the President under Article 309 of the Constitution. It makes no difference that the public interest and the integrity and efficiency of the civil services are expressly mentioned in Rule 2(2). It is necessary that whenever discretion is conferred on an authority by a Rule made under Article 309 of the Constitution it should be expressly recited that the discretion should be exercised in the public interest and for promoting the integrity and efficiency of the civil service. They are the guidelines which are implicit in every rule made under Article 309 of the Constitution which confers a discretionary power. Thus, the power conferred by rule 2(2) is to be exercised arbitrarily but is to be exercised in the public interest for attaining the object of securing the integrity and efficiency of the civil services. Rule 2(2) of the Liberalised Pension Rules does not, therefore, offend Article 14 of the Constitution.;
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