Rolling back of retirement age by ITDC not arbitrary: CAT
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 13:02
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 overhead costs.

"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.


First Published: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 13:02

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