KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday vacated the interim order granted by a Single Judge allowing several employees of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to continue in the services of the Corporation beyond their present age of superannuation, which is 56, in terms of the Rule.Justice V Chitambaresh observed that the government had already turned down the request of the Corporation to enhance the retirement age of the employees.
“It will be inequitable therefore to permit the employees to work without drawing any emoluments for their labour. Interest of justice would be met by clarifying that the retirement of the petitioners from service will be subject to the result of the petition,” the court observed. The court made it clear that the legality of the government turning down the request of KSRTC would be considered at the time of final hearing of the petition.
It passed the order while considering the petitions filed by T Gopakumaran Nair and others challenging the decision of the government not to consider the recommendation of the board of directors to enhance the retirement age of their employees.
The Board took a decision to enhance the retirement age of its employees to 58 years. The petitioners submitted that the Board is competent to take a decision on the matter without the concurrence of the government.
Counsel for KSRTC Thushara James submitted that, since the question of enhancement of age of retirement is a condition of service, the corporation is bound to follow the government orders.
A separate decision, contrary to the government could not be taken by the corporation, counsel submitted. Meanwhile KSRTC Managing Director Antony Chacko filed a counter-affidavit stating that the KSRTC cannot enhance the age of retirement without previous sanction from the government.
Since no special rule or regulation is framed in the matter of age of retirement, the corporation is bound to follow the age of retirement provided for in the Kerala Service Rules.
The KSRTC is a statutory Corporation and is bound to follow the general instructions from the government in accordance with the provisions of RTC Act.
The KSRTC submitted that the issue of enhancement of retirement age remains settled and there cannot be granted any extension to its employees.