The Andhra Pradesh High Court held that the decision of the Government for the entities listed under Schedules IX and X of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 will not bind the district cooperative central banks.

The Court held thus in a batch of writ petitions preferred by the employees of the Prakasam District Cooperative Central Bank Limited, who retired at the age of 58 years having attained the age of superannuation and retired by the year 2017.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice R. Raghunandan Rao observed, “The decision taken by the Government for those entities, which find a mention in Schedule IX and X, would not bind the district cooperative central banks, which are cooperative credit societies, who are independently required to take a call considering various factors including their financial capacity for purposes of determining as to whether there should be an extension in the age of superannuation and if at all from which date. In our opinion, the decision taken by the DCCB is in the nature of a policy decision.”

Senior Advocate P. Veera Reddy represented the petitioners while Standing Counsel K.N. Vijaya Lakshmi represented the respondents.

In this case, the case of the petitioners/employees was that they ought to have been retired on attaining the age of 60 years. With a view to support this fact, the petitioners stated that the Andhra Pradesh Legislature enacted the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) (Amendment) Act, 2014, whereby in Section 3(1), the following sub-section was substituted –

“(1) Every Government employee shall retire from service on the afternoon of the last day of the month in which he attains the age of sixty years.”

The State Government issued an order, providing instructions for implementation of the 2014 Act, reiterating the fact that its provisions were applicable only to the categories mentioned therein and none else. Subsequently, another order was issued whereby it was envisaged that the enhancement of age of superannuation would not be made applicable to the employees of the Public Sector Undertakings and Institutions listed in Schedules IX and X of the Reorganisation Act until the matter of division of assets and liabilities of the institutions between the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana was settled and the allotment of the employees between the two States was finalized for those public sector undertakings and institutions.

The petitioners via writ petitions challenged the action of the Bank in not enhancing the age of superannuation from 58 to 60 years retrospectively as was done in the case of institutions falling in Schedules IX and X of Reorganisation Act. Apart from this, it was urged that the Bank was discriminating between those who retired post June 2, 2014 and those who are working as on June 30, 2017 and that the decision to enhance the age of superannuation only from the month of June, 2017 onwards was irrational.

The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case noted, “… the next issue that falls for our consideration is whether the petitioners, who are the employees of a corporate body like a Cooperative Bank can claim to have been discriminated as against the Government employees or for that matter, the employees working for entities listed under Schedule IX and X of the Reorganisation Act. … In the instant case, the petitioners can certainly be not called as Government employees, as they do not fall within the definition of ‘Government employees’ as defined under the Act No.23 of 1984. If that be so, it is no longer res integra that employees of corporate bodies cannot demand as a matter of right to be treated similarly as employees of the State Government.”

The next issue that arose for consideration before the Court was whether the petitioners can claim discrimination between the employees of those entities, which are listed under Schedule IX and X of the Reorganisation Act and the petitioners, who are employees of a Cooperative Credit Society.

The Court in the above regard said, “We intend to agree with learned counsel for the respondents that Section 115D of the APCS Act, which is a special provision applicable to Cooperative Credit Societies, which was incorporated in Chapter XIII-B by the Act No.16 of 2007, does give autonomy to such cooperative credit societies, among others, as regards personnel policy, staffing, recruitment, posting and compensation to staff.”

The Court further observed that even in this case, the decision to increase the age of superannuation from a prospective date i.e., June, 2017 has also been taken after taking into consideration the benefit of enhancement of superannuation from 58 to 60 years as also considering the financial impact on account of salary and other benefits, which the Bank would have to pay in view of such an increase.

“The decision taken by the Bank cannot be said to be arbitrary or perverse or unreasonable as to become unsustainable”, it concluded.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the writ petitions.

Cause Title- Puvvada Venkata Mohana Murali Krishna Murthy v. The State of Andhra Pradesh


Petitioners: Senior Advocate P. Veera Reddy and Advocate Syed Arif Basha.

Respondent: Standing Counsel K.N. Vijaya Lakshmi

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