Five Important Principles relating to Compulsory Retirement
Recently the High Court of Rajasthan while upholding an order of Compulsory retirement of an Additional District & Sessions Judge (Fast Track) under Rule.53(1) of the Rajasthan Civil Service Pension Rules, 1996, has re-iterated the following principles relating to Compulsory retirement as summarized by the Supreme Court in Baikuntha Nath Das & Anr. Vs. Chief District Medical Officer, Baripada & Anr. [ AIR 1992 SC 1020]
(i) An order of compulsory retirement is not a punishment. It implies no stigma nor any suggestion of misbehavior.
(ii) The order has to be passed by the Government on forming the opinion that it is in the public interest to retire a Government servant compulsorily. The order is passed on the subjective satisfaction of the Government.
(iii) Principles of natural justice have no place in the context of an order of compulsory retirement. This does not mean that judicial scrutiny is excluded altogether. While the High Court or the Court would not examine the matter as an appellate Court, they may interfere if they are satisfied that the order is passed (a) mala fide or (b) that it is based on no evidence or (c) that it is arbitrary- in the sense that no reasonable person would form the requisite opinion on the given material: in short, if it is found to be a perverse order.
(iv) The Government (or the Review Committee, as the case may be) shall have to consider the entire record of service before taking a decision in the matter- of course attaching more importance to record of and performance during the later years. The record to be so considered would naturally include the entries in the confidential records/character rolls, both favourable and adverse. If a Government servant is promoted to a higher post notwithstanding the adverse remarks, such remarks loose their sting, more so, if the promotion is based upon merit (selection) and not upon seniority.
(v) An order of compulsory retirement is not liable to be quashed by a Court merely on the showing that while passing it uncommunicated adverse remarks were also taken into consideration. That circumstance by itself cannot be a basis for interference".
Read the Rajasthan High Court Judgment Here.