AICTE Superannuation Rules to Prevail Over State Condition of Services: Bombay HC
The High Court of Bombay in The Principal, Bhausaheb Vartak … vs Mukesh Narendra Gangrade And Ors– Writ Petition No. 3125 OF 2020 – held the superannuation period shall be the age of 60 as per the regulations provided under the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) regulations and not under Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Rules (MEPS Rules).
The Bench consisting of Justice R. I. Chagla and Justice R. D. Dhanuka held:
Be that as it may, in view of the conflict between the MEPS Rules, AICTE Regulations, AICTE Regulations would prevail.
In our view Article 254 of the Constitution of India is attracted even if two items fall under two different lists. Proviso to Article 254(2) of Constitution of India will apply in the facts of this case.
..the age of superannuation of the petitioners in each of these petitions would be 60 years and not 58 years.
The petitioner, a polytechnic lecturer at Elphinstone Technical School, Mumbai, Maharashtra had filed a writ under Article 226 seeking a declaration that the age of retirement should be considered as 60 years instead of 58 years. He also sought permission to perform his duties in the said post till the actual retirement along with payment of salary due which was payable from 1st January 2020 till the date of retirement with interest at 18% p.a. on the amount.
The petitioner, a qualified M.Sc. (electronic) who was appointed as a lecturer by respondent no. 2 the Director of Technical Education, Maharashtra in the Computer Technology Department from 16th August 1990 as a probation lecturer for two years and as a permanent lecturer from 1st August 1992. He had been working for 29 years. A letter dated 31st December 2019 was sent to the petitioner by respondent no. 1, informing him of his retirement from the service as he had completed 58 years of age.
Aggrieved, the counsel for the petitioner brought attention to Rules 17 and 18 of the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1981 (MEPS Rules) which states that the age of superannuation shall be 58 years, but the said rule was clearly in conflict with AICTE (Pay Scales, Service Conditions and Qualifications for the Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Technical Institutions) Regulations, 2010, according to which the age of superannuation shall be 60 years. Further, the counsel also contended that AICTE Regulation is a subject law as well as a central legislation, and MEPS Rules is a general law as well as state legislation, therefore the subject law shall regulate the age of retirement.
Offering justification, the counsel for the respondent contended that although the AICTE Regulations, 2010 was a Central legislation, the MEPS Rules, 1981 received the assent of the President of India first.
The court relied on the judgement of the Supreme Court in T. Barai vs Henry AH Hoe and another (1983 AIR 150, 1983 SCR (1) 905) where it was held that the proviso to Article 254(2) empowers the Union Parliament to repeal or amend a repugnant State law even though it has become valid by the President’s assent.
Further, the court stated:
Even though the subsequent law made by Parliament does not expressly repeal a state law, even then, the State law will become void as soon as the subsequent law of Parliament creating repugnancy is made. A State law would be repugnant to the Union law when there is direct conflict between the two laws. Such repugnancy may also arise where both laws operate in the same field and the two cannot possibly stand together.
In conclusion, the court stated that the age of superannuation shall be 60 years as per the AICTE Regulation, 2010.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL