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Karnataka HC Allows Petition Relating to Retirement Age As Per AICTE Guidelines

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On 24.05.2021, the Karnataka High Court had heard a Writ Petition of a 60 years-old Petitioner seeking to entitle the age of retirement up to 65 years as per the guidelines of AICTE.

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner, a 60 years-old Professor at Siddaganga Institute of Technology had filed the Writ Petition that he was entitled to continue in service up to the age of 65 years according to the guidelines of All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987. The Institute at which the Petitioner was a cadre of Professor issued a notice of the staff who would retire in the year 2020. The notice included the name of Petitioner. The Court by an order dated 31.12.2020 had passed an interim order of stay at the retirement of the Petitioner. As a result, the Petitioner had sought to quash the notice passed by the Respondent Institute. 

Petitioner’s Submission

The Learned Counsel of the Petitioner primarily focused on the guidelines of AICTE regarding the age of retirement of all faculty members irrespective of its status of private or aided educational Institute. The said age of retirement as per the AICTE guidelines was 65 years. 

Grounds of Challenge

The Respondent learned counsel challenged the submissions made by the Petitioner. It was contended that the Institute being an unaided Educational Institute was entitled to make its policy and determine the age of retirement as per its criteria. Further, it was added that the age of retirement of employees at the Institute was not regulated by the State. 

Petitioner’s Prayer

The Petitioner had prayed to quash the notice passed by the Respondent Institute regarding the retirement of the Petitioner and further to direct the respondent that the Petitioner’s services should be allowed to till the age of superannuation up to 65 years of age, as guided by the AICTE. 

Court’s Observation

The Karnataka High Court emphasized that the norms and standards of AICTE governed the Institute. As a result, the court had considered it necessary to examine the AICTE regulations regarding the concerned subject matter. Further, it was pointed out that the AICTE Act applied to all degree level Technical Institutions. The court noted that the appointment of the Petitioner was as per the norms of AICTE. By citing various leading cases of the Supreme Court of India, the Karnataka High Court had observed that the Petitioner’s writ was entitled to succeed. 

Court’s Order

The Single-judge bench of the High Court allowed the Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution. It was held that the Petitioner was entitled to continue its services in Respondent Institute up till the age of 65 years. Further, the Petitioner was also entitled to all benefits as a cadre of Professor. 

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