New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea of eight Army doctors seeking a direction to the Centre that their age of superannuation, which is 58 years, be raised to 65 in view of the public announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"List the petition for hearing tomorrow," a bench of Justices A R Dave, U U Lalit and L Nageswara Rao said when the counsel for doctors sought an urgent hearing on the ground that they are due to retire on July 31 after attaining the age of 58 years.
The doctors, all of Colonel rank, including Amitabh Thapliyal, A K Hota, Yogesh Verma have sought a direction to Ministries of Defence, Health, Chief of Army Staff and Director General Armed Forces Medical Services that the notification of May 13 be followed to enhance their age of superannuation to 65 years.
The plea, filed through lawyers I S Singh and Sarvesh Singh, said the notification, issued after the announcement made by the Prime Minister, is 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 Govt. 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 plea 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," it said.