Beyond Metros, Gujarat

No retirement age at minority-run institutes: Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court ruled a landmark judgment on Tuesday that the government’s norms for retirement for employees are not applicable to minority-run educational institutions. The court stated that in minority-run institutes, the employees including teaching and non-teaching staff can work longer than their retirement age of 60 years.

The court said the staff can work longer till they are mentally and physically fit as certified by medical authorities.

The high court Justice JB Pardiwala restrained the state government from any interference and observed that it must carry on to pay grants towards salaries of the senior employees, that the institute feels can serve the best interests of students and the community.

The court asserted that the grant-in code cannot prevail over regulations for running minority institutions. If the government interferes in selection, taking action or making the staff including both teaching and non-teaching to retire, it will be treated as a clear violation of Article 30(1) of the Constitution, which protects and confers autonomy on minority run educational institutions.

The court order came in response to a petition filed by a minority institute, ‘HB Kapadia Education Trust’, which used to run New High School in Ahmedabad’s walled city area. Its principal, Hasmukh Kapadia, was due to retire in 2001, and the government extended his term till he turned 60. The institute wanted to have the principal stay on and urged the government to continue to pay his salary because it was a grant-in-aid school.

As the school was closed in 2012, the court ordered the state to pay the full salary for 2001 to 2012 to Kapadia within three months.

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