Press Trust of India

SC to examine if allopathic doctors, AYUSH practitioners can have different retirement age

SC to examine if allopathic doctors, AYUSH practitioners can have different retirement age
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a vexatious question whether there can be different age of superannuation for the allopathic doctors in comparison with the practitioners of Ayurveda and others working in the government hospitals and clinics.

Taking note of the shortage of allopathic doctors, the Rajasthan government enhanced their age of retirement from 60 to 62 years with effect from March 31, 2016, leading to litigations by similarly placed government AYUSH (Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and homeopathy) doctors.

The Rajasthan High Court, on February 28, rendered a judgment accepting the grievances of the Ayurvedic doctors and held they will be deemed to be in service up to the age of 62 years if their date of retirement fell after March 31, 2016.

“Those who have been superannuated on attaining the age of 60 years, but have not completed the age of 62 years, be reinstated in service forthwith,” the high court further held.

The state government came in appeal in the top court and urged a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra that the order be stayed.

“Why should we be interfering with this,” the CJI observed initially.

However, the bench agreed to consider the appeal of the state government after taking note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The law officer said around 1,000 such doctors will come back to service due to the effect of the high court’s verdict.

“We will issue notice,” the bench said.

The high court had allowed the plea of the AYUSH doctors that the different age of superannuation was discriminatory as being violative of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution.

It was submitted by the AYUSH doctors that they are performing the same function of treating and healing their patients and hence, the classification is discriminatory and unreasonable.

The state government, on the other hand, had submitted before the high court that since there is shortage of allopathic doctors serving under it, a decision was taken to raise the retirement age of allopathic doctors from 60 years to 62 years.

However, since there was a large number of AYUSH doctors serving with the state government, similar raising of retirement age for AYUSH doctors was not considered necessary by the government, the state government had said.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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