KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday upheld the government ordinance reducing the retirement age of statutory officers, including registrar and examination controllers of certain universities, to 56 years from 60. The court issued the order while dismissing the petitions filed by Mahatma Gandhi University Finance Officer TA Abdul Majeed and others challenging the ordinance.
The court said that individual hardship cannot be a reason to interfere with the legislative exercise carried on by the state to implement a valid policy arrived at on the basis of expert opinion and intended at providing uniformity of tenure of statutory officers in the universities in the state. The age of retirement being a policy matter, it was within the exclusive premise of the state government.
The Bench added the power to decide the retirement and condition of service of persons serving the state was on the legislature of the state under Article 309 of the Constitution and the ordinance could not be challenged on that ground.
As per the ordinance, the term of registrars, examination controllers and finance officers of the universities had also been limited to four years. Those who have completed four years in the post or 56 years would have to relinquish their posts.