Court sets aside Punjab’s service extension plans


Chandigarh : The Punjab and Haryana High Court has quashed a Punjab government order allowing public officials and staff extension of a year in service if they were retiring this year.

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The high court has set aside the state government’s order under which the government officials and employees retiring between Jan 22 and December 31, 2010, were given an option of seeking an extension in service by one year.

The court’s order Monday came following a petition filed by a district development and panchayat official, Kuldeep Singh, saying the new government order was unconstitutional as it would affect his service and promotion entitlement as also of others.

A bench of the high court, comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Alok Singh, said the Punjab government order was unsustainable.

The court stated that those employees who had already availed benefit under the state government order allowing extension of one year in service, will not be affected by its order. It said no one could now be extended the benefit.

The extension in service was offered by the state government through an ordinance January this year after the state cabinet accepted a report submitted on this by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Industries and Commerce Minister Manoranjan Kalia.

While the committee had suggested raising the retirement age by two years from 58 to 60 years, the cabinet, headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, had agreed to give only a one-year extension in service offer.

The state government had said this was a one-time measure to ensure implementation of important projects and schemes in the state.