New Delhi: A decision to roll back the
retirement age of its employees from 60 to 58 years by
state-owned Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has
been justified by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
"In the matter of retirement age being a condition of
service, rolling back is within the prerogative of the ITDC
.... the decision taken by the respondents to roll back is
neither irrational nor arbitrary," the tribunal, comprising
Veena Chhotray and Shanker Raju, said.
A S Talwar and other petitioners had approached the
tribunal, challenging the rolling back of retirement age of
its employees from 60 to 58 years by the ITDC.
The petitioners contended that the condition precedent for
rolling back the age is non-viability and sickness of the unit
which has not been proved by statistics and figures.
The ITDC, on its part, contested the allegations, saying
the profits of corporation was going down from year to year
and introduction of voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) further
burdened it financially due to paucity of funds.
The Corporation also said the decision of rolling back of
retirement age would lead to considerable savings by way of
"The institution would not have to be adjudged successful
only on the basis of the capital but also on the profits
earned from year to year," the tribunal said.
The tribunal took into consideration the claims of the
ITDC that it was suffering losses consistently and could not
be treated as a viable unit.
"We are of the considered view that ITDC was non-viable as
it appears that the subsequent VRS and disinvestment has
already strengthened the finding arrived at on a conscious
decision by the ITDC Board to roll back the age of
retirement," the CAT said.
In 1998, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) had
ordered raising the retirement age from 58 to 60 and it was
complied by the ITDC.
However, the DPE said the undertaking can seek specific
exemption from enhancing the age of retirement on the grounds
of its non-viability and sick status.
The Board meeting of the ITDC decided to roll back the
age of retirement in 2000, a decision, which was held to be
free from any fraud or misrepresentation by the tribunal.