Decided on April 04,1967



- (1.) THE petitioners were Government servants and they held the posts mentioned in paragraph 1 of the affidavit in sup-port of the writ petition. They retired from service on the various dates mentioned in the same paragraph. By a series of orders passed by Government the age of compulsory retirement on superannuation of all categories of Government employees was raised to 58 years.
(2.) THE contention of the petitioners originally was that the said orders fixed different dates for their commencement and that on account of it the petitioners were denied the right to continue in service until they completed the age of 58 years. The first order passed by Government is dated 31-1-1966 and it is marked ext. P-1. In that order Government said that in view of the scarcity of medical personnel, doctors will be given extension of service upto the age of 58 years as a matter of course until the scarcity of doctors abates, reserving the right to terminate the service with one month's notice on either side. The second of the government orders was passed on 5-3-1966. Ext. P-2 is a copy of that order. There it was ordered that the age of superannuation of District and Sessions judges is raised from 55 to 58. The third order is dated 5-7-1966 and Ext. P-3 is a copy of it. By that order the age of superannuation of all teachers including headmasters was raised to 58 with retrospective effect from 1-7-1966. Ext. P-4 is a copy of the next order passed by Government on 16-7-1966 with retrospective effect from 15-7-1966 raising the age of superannuation to 58 of the technical personnel shown in the schedule to the said order. Ext. P-5 is a copy of the order passed by Government dated 12-8-1966 with retrospective effect from 15-7-1966 raising the age of superannuation to 58 of all other Government employees not covered by the earlier orders.
(3.) THE main argument of the petitioners was that raising the superannuation age by the orders in question passed from time to time and fixing different dales for their commencement is discriminatory, for the reason that for purposes of fixing the age of retirement, all government servants form a class and to treat one group in the class as different from the others would offend Articles 14 and Article 16 (1)of the Constitution. They contended that the age of retirement on superannuation of all government servants should have been raised with effect from 31-1-1966, the date of Ext. P-1, and that raising the age of retirement by orders passed in instalments and fixing different dates For their commencement would be discriminatory. The prayers of the petitioners were for declaration that the benefit of the extended age of supperannuation should have been extended to them with effect from the date of Ext. P-1, for the issue of such orders or directions to the state Government as are necessary to give effect to the above declaration, to direct the Government to reinstate the petitioners, and for such other appropriate reliefs as are necessary.;

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