Ranks in CAPF should not be a criterion to discriminate against the age of superannuation: Delhi HC
A two-division bench of Delhi High Court comprising of Justice S.Muraleedhar and Sanjeev Narula stated two grounds against the unconstitutionality of fixing different age of superannuation based on ranks in CRPF, ITBP, BSF as the prescribed age of retirement for CISF and AR is 60 years whereas those in the rank of commandant and below is 57 years. Firstly they stated that there is a lack of justification in discriminating because “ the above classification has no rational nexus to the object sought to be achieved, which is keeping high the morale of the CAPFs, who are performing yeoman service and supplementing the efforts of the armed forces and the police throughout the country.”
Secondly, such practice is violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the constitution. Not only the concerned CAPFs but also the CPC, the expert body who enquired into this matter favoured to remove such existing discrimination by 2:1 majority emphasising on the escalation of the retirement age.
The decision stated that “ “This Court is of the view that the Petitioners have made out a case of discrimination, that is violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, based on empirical data that the fixing of the age of superannuation of members of the ranks of Commandant and below in the ITBP, CRPF, BSF and SSB different from those in the ranks above that of the Commandant is not based on a rational criteria and that such differentiation has no nexus to the object sought to be achieved”.
The court struck down rule 43(a) of the CRPF Rules,1955 along with Rule 14 of the CRPF Group (A) General Duty Officers Recruitment Rules, 2001, Rule 8 (a) of the ITBP General Duty in Group „A‟ Posts Rules and Rule 12 of the BSF (General Duty Officers) Recruitment Rules, 2001 saying that the above laws are unconstitutional as they are discriminatory and violative of article 14 of the Indian constitution.
The court also stated that the present judgement has nothing to do with the petitioners who have already retired. The court further states that “ In view of the principle of „no work, no pay‟, it will also not have the effect of their being entitled to any arrears of pay for any further period beyond their retirement. their notional date of retirement would be arrived at by adding the differential years to their actual date of retirement. On such calculation, they would be entitled to the arrears of retirement benefits after adjusting the amount already paid.”