CHENNAI: Observing that retirement rules that go against All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) regulations are invalid, the Madras High Court has ordered reinstatement of two teaching faculty of Puducherry Technologcial University (PTU) who were forced to retire before the stipulated age.
In a recent order, allowing writ petitions filed by S Kothandaraman, former acting principal, and AV Raviprakash, professor, PTU, Justice V Parthiban observed, “This court is of the considered view that age of superannuation as prescribed under regulation 2.12 is binding on the respondent university and any other prescription of age of superannuation repugnant to the AICTE regulation is to be held void and inoperative and it cannot be enforced in law… There will be a direction to the respondent university to reinstate the petitioners in service forthwith and continue them in service till they attain the age of 65 years, as prescribed by AICTE regulations, 2019.”
The judge further directed the university to pass appropriate orders for reinstating the petitioners with effect from the respective dates they were retired from service within four weeks, along with consequential benefits, including all pay and allowances for the period. Both the petitioners were forced to retire in 2021 when they attained the age of 62 against the stipulated age of 65 years for superannuation.
“In the teeth of the mandatory nature of AICTE regulation and also the decision of the courts which have clearly and categorically clarified the legal position as to the mandatory nature of the AICTE regulations, the stand adopted by the university that unless the regulations are specifically adopted by the university, the same cannot have automatic application is nothing but advancing a specious case on behalf of the university,” Justice Parthiban said.
In the opinion of this court, the university appears to be blissfully oblivious to the constitutional scheme and also various case laws which have consistently held that the AICTE regulations are mandatory in nature, the judge observed.