BANSI RAM DAS Vs. SECRETARY TO THE GOVT. OF ASSAM EDUCATION (GENERAL) DEPARTMENT AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Bansi Ram Das
Secretary To The Govt. Of Assam Education (General) Department And Ors.
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S.K. Dutta, C.J. -
(1.)THIS is a writ petition filed by one Sri Bansi Ram Das challenging an order of the Government of Assam refusing to allow him to continue in service as Professor of Physics in the Govt. Cotton College, Gauhati beyond the age of 55 years. The Petitioner's case is that he joined the Physics Department in the aforesaid college as a Lecturer in the year 1946 and was promoted to the post of Professor and was confirmed in that post with effect from 1 -8 -60. The. Petitioner contends that during the time he worked as the Professor and the Head of the Department of Physics, the results of his students at the University examination were uniformly brilliant. In the year 1965, the results of B. Sc. Part II examination were so excellent as to bring commendation from the Secretary to the Government of Assam in the Education Department vide Annexure I to the petition. It is further contended that being satisfied with his work, the Government of Assam allowed the Petitioner to cross the efficiency bars in his pay scale. In 1963, the Government of Assam decided to raise the retirement age of Government employees from 55 years to 58 years, and those Government servants who were due to retire on or after the 16th February. 1963, were allowed to construe until further orders. The Government of Assam issued an office memorandum dated the 21st March. 1963, (Annexure II) saving that it had been decided that the age of compulsory retirement of State Government servants should be 58 years. It was further said that this decision would apply to all Government servants who retired or would retire on or after the 1st December, 1962. No Government servant would be entitled to the benefit unless he was permitted to continue in service after the age of 55 years on the appointing authority being satisfied that he was efficient and physically fit for further Government service. It was also laid down in the memorandum that the appointing authority might require a Government servant to retire if he attained the age of 55 years, on three months' notice without assignment of any reason. The Government servant could also after attaining the age of 55 years voluntarily retire after giving three months' notice to the appointing authority. In the annexure to the memorandum the procedure to find out the efficiency and the physical fitness of the employee concerned was laid down. Persons in the pay scale is of the Petitioner were to be tested as to their efficiency by a Board consisting of the Chief Secretary, the Secretary and the Head of the Department concerned. As regards physical fitness, such persons were to be examined by the Civil Surgeon of the District in which they were posted.
(2.)THE Petitioner was attaining the age of 55 years on 1 -1 -66 and he applied to the Government to regularize his continuance in service up to the age of 58 years as per provisions laid down in the Government memorandum. Thereafter the Petitioner underwent a medical examination by the Civil Surgeon, Kamrup, who declared and certified him to be physically fit. The efficiency of the Petitioner was then tested by the Screening Board consisting of the Chief Secretary, Education Secretary and the Director of Public Instruction and he was found to be efficient But yet the Petitioner was informed by the Principal of the College by his Memo No. 840 -41 dated 28 -1 -66 that the Government had decided not to allow him to continue in service beyond the age of 55 years. Thereafter the Petitioner moved the Government and met the Chief Minister personally and prayed for reconsideration of his case. But the Government rejected the Petitioner's appeal by an order dated the 7th June, 1966. Hence the Petitioner has come before this Court by this writ petition. Both Mr. Sen, the learned Counsel for the Petitioner, as well as the learned Advocate -General have relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of I. N. Saksena v. State of M. P., reported in : AIR 1967 SC 1264. Hence I may refer to this case in some details. The Appellant before the Supreme Court in that case was a District and Session Judge in the service of the State of Madhya Pradesh (hereinafter called the Appellant). He would have in the normal course retired completing the age of 55 years in August. 1963. But on February 28. 1963 the Government of Madhya Pradesh issued a memorandum to all Collectors in the State. A copy of this memorandum was also sent to the Registrar of the High Court as well as the Finance Department and the Accountant General. The relevant part of this memorandum was as follows:
The State Government have decided that the age of compulsory retirement of State Government's servants should be raised to 58 years subject to the following exceptions.
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