RAJENDRA NARAYAN PATRA Vs. STATE OF ODISHA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Rajendra Narayan Patra
STATE OF ODISHA
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P.Patnaik, J. -
(1.) In the accompanied writ petition, the petitioner challenges the legality and propriety of the retirement notice on attaining the age of 58 years w.e.f. 31.05.2017 being contrary to the resolution of the Finance Department dated 28.06.2014 and also incongruous and inconsistent with the order passed by the Odisha State Agricultural Marketing Board (hereinafter to be called as "the Board").
(2.) The facts as averred in the writ petition in a nutshell is that the petitioner was initially appointed as Junior Clerk on 04.05.1988 and subsequently promoted to the rank of Senior Clerk on 14.03.1995. After undergoing the process of selection, he was appointed as Deputy Marketing Officer and joined in the said post on 20.02.2004. While continuing as such, he was allowed to retire from services on 31.05.2017 by notice dated 31.05.2017 issued by the Member Secretary of the Board wherein it was stated that the petitioner has attained the age of superannuation of 58 years of age as on 31.05.2017. It is stated in the writ petition the date of birth of the petitioner as per High School Certificate Examination issued by the Board of Secondary Education was 15.05.1959. Therefore, the petitioner was made to retire at the age of 58 years which was not the age of superannuation for the employees of the Board. The State Government in Finance Department issued a resolution dated 28.06.2014 by which the Government have decided to enhance the retirement age of the State Government employees on superannuation from 58 years to 60 years. The Government of Orissa in Public Enterprises Department vide Resolution dated 02.08.2014 allowed the enhancement of age of retirement on superannuation in respect of the employees of State Public Sector Undertakings from 58 to 60 years.
The petitioner further stated in the writ petition that the Board enhanced the age of retirement of superior officers of the Regulated Market Committee from 58 to 60 years which is established under Section 3 and 5 of the Act, 1956. Thereafter the Board communicated letter dated 16.03.2015 to all the Regulated Market Committees indicating therein that the Regulated Market Committee employees who have been ordered to retire on attaining the age of 58 years on or after 28.06.2014 are allowed to continue in service keeping in view the Resolution of the Finance Department. The petitioner made a representation on 07.06.2017 vide Annexure-9 before the Member Secretary of the Board indicating therein that in view of the Government Resolution as per Annexure-3 & 4 to the writ petition and in view of the fact that one of the similarly situated incumbent like the petitioner namely, Shri G.P. Patra who was allowed to continue in service up to 60 years of age, he may be allowed to continue in service till he attains 60 years of age and the retirement notice be recalled, but the said representation appears to have fallen on deaf ears. Being aggrieved by the retirement notice under Annexure-1, the petitioner has filed the instant writ petition with a prayer to quash the retirement notice and for allowing him to continue in service from 01.06.2017 to 31.05.2019 with all consequential benefits.
(3.) Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted with vehemence that the petitioner was made to retire at the age of 58 years on superannuation on 31.05.2017 in view of retirement notice issued by the Board on 31.05.2017 vide Annexure-1 to the writ petition. He further submitted that the petitioner was not allowed to continue in service till the age of 60 years though similarly situated employees like the petitioner was allowed to continue in services up to 60 years and the Odisha State Agricultural Marketing Board has enhanced the age of retirement of the employees of the Regulated Market Committee from 58 to 60 years. Learned counsel further submitted that on 31.10.2017, the Board had resolved to enhance the age of retirement of its employees from 58 to 60 years which was after three years and four months of passing of the resolution by the State Government under Annexures-3 & 4 only to harass the petitioner.
Learned counsel for the petitioner during course of hearing cited the decision (State of Uttar Pradeshvrs.-Dayanand Chakrawarty and Others, 2013 7 SCC 595 wherein the Hon'ble Apex Court in paragraph 49.1 and 49.2 held as follows:-
49.1. The employees including respondents who moved before a court of law irrespective of fact whether interim order was passed in their favour or not, shall be entitled for full salary up to the age of 60 years. The arrears of salary shall be paid to them after adjusting the amount if any paid.
49.2. The employees, who never moved before any court of law and had to retire on attaining the age of superannuation, they shall not be entitled for arrears of salary. However, in view of Regulation 31 they will deem to have continued in service up to the age of 60 years. In their case, the appellants shall treat the age of superannuation at 60 years, fix the pay accordingly and re-fix the retirement benefits like pension, gratuity, etc. On such calculation, they shall be entitled for arrears of retirement benefits after adjusting the amount already paid.";
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