The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre on a petition by eight army doctors seeking enhancement of their superannuation age of 58 to 65 in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public announcement.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra asked the government and army to respond to the plea of the doctors who are retiring this month.
The petitioner doctors, all of Colonel rank, have sought a direction to Ministries of Defence, Health, Chief of Army Staff and Director General Armed Forces Medical Services that the government’s May 13 notification in this regard be followed to enhance their age of superannuation to 65 years.
The petitioners pointed out that the notification issued after the announcement made by the Prime Minister was being followed in paramilitary forces like CRPF, BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, NSG and Assam Rifles.
“Executive instructions have been issued by the railway ministry and other ministries/departments of the central government thereby enhancing the age of superannuation of all medical doctors serving under the respective ministries/departments to 65 years.
“However, no such executive instructions have so far been issued in respect of the medical officers serving under the ministry of defence, including the medical officers belonging to the Army Medical Corps/Army Dental Corps (AMC/ADC) of the Indian Army,” the petitioners said.
“The Petitioners herein are being discriminated against in the matter of ‘equality of opportunity’ of public employment which is violation of Article 16 read with Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
“The in-action/refusal on part of the respondents (Centre and others) to extend to the petitioners herein the benefit of enhancement of age of superannuation to 65 years is also violative of the petitioners fundamental rights enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution,” petitioners contended.