SC issues notice to Maha govt, Haffkine Institute on retirement age plea

9 months ago 48
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MUMBAI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to

Haffkine Institute

and the state on a petition filed by Nishigandha Naik who challenged a March 2020 Bombay high court order dismissing her constitutional challenge to her retirement as in-charge director of the Institute for Training and Research and Testing.
She had petitioned the court to assail the legality of the state’s move to retire her at age 58 when she claimed the rules for retirement of a director put the age at 62.
The SC bench of Justices UU Lalit, MM Shantanagoudar and

Vineet Saran

after hearing her counsel C U Singh issued notice and posted matter for hearing next on October 5.
Her special leave petition (SLP) seeking to challenge the HC order said that “The bye-laws statethat the recruitment rules and conditions of service of its employees are to be autonomously determined by its Governing Council, without reference to the State Government.’’
She said the Institute’s Governing Council in 2011 and 2013 increased the age of retirement of “Assistant Directors” from 58 years to 62 years. She was an Assistant Director in May 2015 and her retirement age was 62, her lawyer Amogh Singh had contended before the HC.
She however, was forced to retire at 58 because the institute did not seek state’s nod to increase the age of retirement, her petition said. Her case is that the Institute has “complete autonomy’’ to decide service conditions of its employees including those of its Assistant Directors, with the only exception of ‘Director’.
The SC will hear the legal issues she seeks to raise next month.
Before the HC , state government pleader

Purnima Kantharia

said her retirement was justified under existing rules since state gave no consent to governing council recommendations for 62 as retirement age. The state had also said the higher age placed financial implications on the government exchequer.
Her SLP says,

Bombay HC

“failed to consider that Respondent No.2 is an autonomous institute and that autonomous institute possesses autonomy in academic, financial and administrative spheres and is not bound by the restrictive norms of the State Government.”

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