The Chandigarh bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has stayed the decision of the governing body of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to retire lecturers at the age of 62 years.
Acting on the application moved by Dr HS Bhatti, a lecturer in the department of parasitology, the bench, on June 14, put stay on the orders through which the institute had issued retirement orders for Dr Bhatti with retrospective effect from October 2011. He was issued retirement orders on June 13. The bench had observed that "the order is invalid and deserves outright invalidation as it is in violation of policy instructions". The decision is likely to provide relief to four lecturers.
In PGIMER, designation of lecturers, who are holding MSc and PhD degrees, fall under the category of "teaching faculty", whereas the term "medical teaching faculty" is used for those having MD/MS degrees.
GS Bal, counsel for the applicant, pleaded that as per the rules, there was no reference to the distinction between teaching faculty and medical teaching faculty. Lecturers were demanding enhancement of retirement age from 62 to 65 years to bring it on a par with the faculty members - assistant professors and professors.
In April, the governing body, which is headed by the union health minister, while deciding the case of Dr Bhatti had decided to retire all lecturers and tutors at the age of 62 years.
Dr Bhatti, who attained the age of 62 in November, was allowed to continue by the health minister till further orders of the governing body. However, the body decided to retire him with immediate effect and directed the institute to retire all lecturers at the age of 62.