Boutique Litigation Law Firm - Retain Lawyers - Research based Law Firm - Complete legal services

Age of superannuation is a matter of policy, Courts cannot interfere: Supreme Court overturns Allahabad HC judgment

The SC on July 15, 2021 {New Okhla Industrial Development Authority & Anr. vs. B D Singhal & Ors.} held that the infirmity in the judgment lies in the fact that the High Court has trenched upon the realm of policy making and has assumed to itself, jurisdiction over a matter which lies in the domain of the executive. It was held that whether the age of superannuation should be increased and if so, the date from which this should be effected is a matter of policy into which the High Court ought not to have entered.

It was held by the Bench, comprising of Justice Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud  & Justice M.R. Shah that whether the decision to increase the age of superannuation should date back to the resolution passed by NOIDA or should be made effective from the date of the approval by the State government was a matter for the State government to decide. It was held that ultimately, in drawing every cut-off, some employees would stand on one side of the line while the others would be positioned otherwise. It was held that this element of hardship cannot be a ground for the High Court to hold that the decision was arbitrary.

The respondent(s)/ employees had argued before the SC that in State of Uttar Pradesh v. Dayayanand Chakrawarthy, it was held that if the employer prevents the employee from performing his duties, the employee cannot be blamed for his absence from duty and the principle of ‘no pay no work’ shall not be applicable to such an employee.

The SC held that since the enhancement of the age of superannuation is a ‘public function’ channelised by the provisions of the statute and the service regulations, the doctrine of promissory estoppel cannot be used to challenge the action of NOIDA. 

The Court allowed the appeals and set aside the impugned judgment and order of the Division Bench at Lucknow of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad. The Writ Petition of the employees, in consequence, stood dismissed.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published