NITYA RANJAN GUHA Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
NITYA RANJAN GUHA
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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(1.)The appellant before us filed a writ petition in the High Court questioning the validity of the rules framed under the special Marriage Act insofar as they related to retirement of non-official marriage officers. There was another writ petition filed by the West Bengal Non-official Marriage officers Association. The contention put forth before the Court is that whether prescribing two different ages of retirement - one set of officers at the age of 60 and another set of officers at the age of 65, is discriminatory and thus there would be violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. Under the rules, by an amendment made, it was provided that those who had crossed the age of 60 years may retire at the age of 65 years while all others will have to retire at the age of 60 years.
(2.)While the learned single judge upheld the contention raised on behalf of the appellants, on an appeal, the division bench of the High Court set aside that order and dismissed the writ petitions. Hence, these appeals by special leave.
(3.)Shri Ranjit Kumar, learned senior advocate appearing for the appellants submitted that the appellants before us are not public servants or government servants and they get a small remuneration out of the fee collected by them for the services rendered and in fact they had been recruited at the age of 40 years and it was only a small number of such officers who would be affected by this amendment and what purpose really would be served as a result of this amendment is not clear and in such circumstances, the division bench of the high Court ought to have upheld the view taken by the learned single judge. He further submitted that on the same date different amendments were made to the rules made under the Hindu Marriage Act and under those rules no such discrimination was made. Therefore, he submitted that the action of the government is plainly arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
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