The Supreme Court has held that AYUSH-covered ayurvedic practitioners are entitled to have the same increased retirement age of 65 years. The Supreme Court observed that there was no rational justification for different ages for doctors practicing AYUSH system of medicines and allopathic system.
The Court was hearing an appeal filed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) against November 2018 Delhi HC judgement. The Tribunal declared that the applicants who are ayurvedic doctors covered under AYUSH are also entitled to the benefit of enhanced superannuation age of 65 years (raised from 60 years), just like the allopathic doctors.
The bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Hrishikesh Roy opined that the doctors, both under AYUSH and allopatic, render service to patients and on this core aspect, there is nothing to distinguish them.
“We have no hesitation in holding that the respondent doctors (Ayurvedic) are entitled to their full salary arrears and the same is ordered to be disbursed, within eight weeks from today. Belated payment beyond the stipulated period will carry interest, at the rate of six percent from the date of this order until the date of payment. It is ordered accordingly.” The bench said.
The Court further stated that we are quite clear in our mind that the respondents must be paid their lawful remuneration-arrears and current, as the case may be. The State cannot be allowed plead financial burden to deny salary for the legally serving doctors. Otherwise it would violate their rights under Articles 14, 21 and 23 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court upheld the High Court judgement which ruled that there was no justification for having different dates for bestowing the benefit of extended age of superannuation for two categories of doctors.