Division bench of SC gave split verdict on the question of whether age or number of years of service on the job would determine basis of retirement when person joined before the age of majority as employee.

Case reference

Gopal Prasad v/s Bihar School examination board and ors.

Case details

The Appellant was appointed as Calligraphist-cum-Assistant of the Bihar School Examination Board on 20 th May 1970, at about 15˝ years of age . It is not in dispute, that on the date of appointment of the Appellant, that is, 20 th May 1970 there was no minimum age prescribed for appointment to the post of Calligraphist-cum-Assistant. However, the minimum age of entry into pensionable service was 16 years. This meant that the period of service of an employee before attaining the age of 16 years, would not count towards pension.

Govt circular, fixing the minimum age for appointment at 18 years, was issued almost 18 years after the appointment of the petitioner, was prospective and applied only to appointments made after issuance of the said circular.

The mere fact that an employee may have been a minor at the time of his initial appointment is inconsequential in the absence of any law at the material time of his appointment, prohibiting appointment of 15/16 year old minors. The Appellant who was 15˝ years old may have been a minor, but certainly not a toddler. It is absurd that any rational employer, far less a statutory body, would appoint a toddler. The hypothesis of appointment of a toddler is far fetched and unrealistic. The apprehension of claims in future to appointment from persons less than 18 years of age is also baseless in view of the circular dated 15 th January 1998 which fixes 18 years as the minimum age of retirement. The circular would govern subsequent appointments.

Sinc e the DB had different opinions on the issue it was decided I am of the view that the appeal should be allowed and the judgment and order of the Division Bench and the Single Bench be set aside. The Appellant is entitled to a declaration that the Appellant was entitled to continue in service till 18 th November 2014, being the date on which he completed 60 years of age, as per his service records, and shall be entitled to all consequential benefits including arrears of pay, if any, pensionary benefits etc.

45. Since we have not agreed, let the matter be placed before Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India for assignment to a larger Bench.

Let us wait for the larger bench to rule on the subject

From India, Pune

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As the Concept & Precedent of Superannuation is known and understood by me, the Age ofSuperannuation is the Age of Superannauation determined, and followed by the respective Employer of respecive Workplace for instance, some Employers prescribe 60 years of Age of Workplace . cided byas recorded at the time of Employment whereas some stipulate 58 years. Superannuation or Retirement from Employment need not be Singled out as a Single Term of Employment. It is reasonable that Retirement Age is Not for One but All already employed or May be Employed in future timws. It is part & parcel of all-inclusive Terms of Employment.
Harsh K Sharan, Kritarth Team of mGTcARETAKERS

From India, Delhi

Dear Harsh, Read the entire judgement. Pretty interesting points come up and worth for legal understanding of issues involved. HRs need to have deeper understanding of legal aspects of their actions.
From India, Pune

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