Allahabad High Court permits homeopathy doctors to continue in service till 62 years age
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has permitted doctors of homeopathy to continue in service till the age of 62 years and be provided all consequential benefits of service in accordance with law.
A single-judge bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Dr Surendra Pratap Yadav.
The writ petition was filed by the petitioner challenging the order dated 17.12.2021 passed by respondent no 2 Director, Department of Homeopathy, UP, Indira Bhawan, Lucknow. By the said order petitioner is retired w.e.f 31.12.2021 at the age of 60 years.
The facts of the case are that the petitioner is a homeopathic doctor working with the State Government.
By notification dated 31.05.2017, the age of the medical officers of the Provincial Medical and Health Service in the State of UP was enhanced from 60 years to 62 years. The doctors working under the Provincial Medical and Health Service are doctors of Allopathy. The services of doctors of homeopathy belong to Homeopathic Medical Service Cadre and the benefit of the notification dated 31.05.2017 was not extended to them.
Counsel for the petitioner relies upon the judgment of the Supreme Court passed in ‘North Delhi Municipal Corporation Vs Dr Ram Naresh Sharma and others’ reported in 2021 SCC Online SC 540.
On the other hand, Standing Counsel submitted that the benefit of the aforesaid judgment could not be granted to the petitioner inasmuch as in the said case the Union of India had issued a separate order giving benefit of enhancement in age of retirement to the Ayush doctors along with Allopathic doctors.
The Court observed that in case of Dr Ram Naresh Sharma (supra), Union of India enhanced the age of retirement of Allopathic doctors working in Delhi from 60 years to 65 years. The said benefit, however, was not extended to Ayush doctors, hence, a claim petition was filed before the Central Administrative Tribunal which was allowed vide order dated 24.08.2017 holding that the Ayush doctors are also entitled to retire at the age of 65 years as the Allopathic doctors. Against the said order, a writ petition was filed before the High Court which was also dismissed by order dated 15.011.2018, affirming the order of the Tribunal. The matter reached the Supreme Court. During pendency of the writ petition, the Central Government issued notification extending the benefit of retirement age of 65 years to the Ayush doctors also, along with Allopathic doctors.
‘Be the facts as they may, the Supreme Court considered the classification created by the Central Government between the Ayush and doctors of CHS practicing Allopathy and held that the same is discriminatory and unreasonable, since doctors under both the segments are performing the same function of treating and healing their parents. Merely because they are using different modes of treatment, it would not qualify as an intelligible differentia. Thus, the classification to be unreasonable and discriminatory and inconsistent with Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The same are the circumstances of the present case. Doctors practicing Allopathy working under the Provincial Medical and Health Services are given the benefit of retirement at the age of 62 years while petitioners who belong to Homeopathic Medical Service Cadre and treat his patients through homeopathy are not given the benefit of retirement age of 62 years. The same again is a classification hit by Article 14 of the Constitution of India as held by the Supreme Court in case of Dr Ram Naresh Sharma (supra),’ the Court further observed while allowing the petition.
In view thereof, the Court set aside the order dated 17.12.2021.
‘Petitioner is permitted to continue in service till the age of 62 years and he shall be provided all consequential benefits of service in accordance with law,’ the Court ordered.