High Court allows private college faculty member to serve till 65 : The Tribune India

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High Court allows private college faculty member to serve till 65

Calls for tagging of retirement age matters

High Court allows private college faculty member to serve till 65


Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, June 8

In a significant order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) has paved the way for a private government-aided college faculty member to continue in service till 65, instead of taking a back seat at 60. The Bench directed the Union of India and other respondents to “give an offer” to petitioner-associate professor to continue until then on a par with government teachers.

The direction by Justice Sanjay Vashisth is significant as petitioner Kulwinder Singh had raised the plea of discrimination. His case was that the teaching staff posted at Panjab University retired at 65 following a notification dated March 23, 2007, issued by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education. But the staff posted with privately managed government-aided college and affiliated with Panjab University retired at 60.

In an attempt to ensure consistent and comprehensive resolution, Justice Vashisth also recommended tagging of all pleas involving the retirement age of teaching staff in government colleges, private government-aided colleges, and university-affiliated colleges. The Bench suggested the counsel concerned could make a request to the High Court Registry to list the matters together.

Kulwinder Singh, through senior counsel Sanjay Majithia, was seeking quashing of the letter dated April 10, whereby he was being made to retire on attaining the age of 60, ignoring the March 2007 notification.

Justice Vashisth’s Bench was also told that there was no clarity and consistency in judicial pronouncements on the issue. In some cases, interim stay was continuing after persons had crossed 60. In some others, the plea for extension in retirement age from 60 to 65 of teaching staff posted in government-aided colleges, affiliated with Panjab University, had been declined.

Justice Vashisth asserted that the court could not lose sight of the fact that education was a fundamental right of every citizen of the country. Also, it was the state’s constitutional obligation to impart education to its citizens by providing proper, appropriate and sufficient infrastructure.

“It would be a debatable question that once, colleges are either affiliated with the state or Central University, and if teachers who are posted in such universities are allowed to retire at the age of 65 years, can teachers who are doing the same job, being governed by the same set of rules, but being employees in private, government-aided colleges, be forced to retire at the age of 60 years,” Justice Vashisth said.

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