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Setting Different Retirement Age For Allopathic & Ayurvedic Doctors Discriminatory, Unconstitutional: Rajasthan High Court

Rahul Garg
3 Oct 2022 11:30 AM GMT
Setting Different Retirement Age For Allopathic & Ayurvedic Doctors Discriminatory, Unconstitutional: Rajasthan High Court
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While dealing with a writ petition challenging a Rajasthan Government notification, the Jaipur Bench of the High Court held that the distinction created between 'Allopathic' and 'Ayurvedic' doctors by setting different retirement ages, is unconstitutional.

The impugned notification had enhanced the retirement age from 60 to 62 years only for doctors of medical and health services, while excluding Ayurvedic, Chikitsa Vibhag, Unani, Homeopathy and Naturopathy doctors from its mandate. Aggrieved by the notification and the deprivation of the benefits thereof, the petitioners approached the court praying for the issuance of an appropriate writ, order or direction to the respondents, directing them to extend uniform benefits to petitioners with all consequential benefits including refixation of pension along with complete payment of arrears and interest amounts for premature retirement.

The Bench of Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Vinod Kumar Bharwani held the notification to be unconstitutional insofar as it was discriminatory and impermissible in law under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

The High court observed that the distinction was based on an unreasonable classification between 'Allopathic doctors' and 'Ayurvedic doctors,' since doctors under both the segments were essentially performing the same core function, which was – tending to their patients by treating and healing them. The mode of the treatment by itself, regardless of whether Allopathy or Ayurveda was used, does not qualify as an intelligible differentia.

Reliance was placed on the Supreme Court decision in North Delhi Municipal Corporation v. Dr. Ram Naresh Sharma and Others, and on the Rajasthan High Court decision in Dr. Mahesh Chandra Sharma and Others v. State of Rajasthan and Others.

Accordingly, the High Court ordered that Ayurveda doctors who have prematurely retired after the issuance of the impugned notification are entitled to same benefits and must be deemed to have continued in service till attaining the age of 62 years, with all consequential benefits, including pensionary benefits, of being deemed to have been in service till such enhanced age.

Case Title: Dr. Kamlesh Sharma and Others v. State of Rajasthan and Others

Case No: D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 14262 of 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 240

Coram: Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Vinod Kumar Bharwani

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment



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