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February 20, 2020

PHC nullifies KP govt’s decision on extension in retirement age

National

February 20, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday nullified the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s decision to extend the age of retirement for government employees from 60 to 63 years.

A division bench of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Naeem Anwar gave the verdict in the writ petitions filed by different petitioners. During the hearing, the chief justice asked the advocate general that the summary of extending age of retirement from 60 to 63 years was also sent to the Punjab cabinet and wondered as to why it didn’t approve it.

The chief justice observed that the province had been turned into a laboratory and like many other things the extension of retirement age was done only here and not in the rest of the country.

The advocate general argued that the decision would benefit the province and the money given in pension would be spent on development work. The chief justice observed that even the provincial chief secretary had objected to the decision, saying the same issue would arise after three years and the benefit would be temporary.

The lawyers for the petitioners argued before the court that a large number of young graduates would remain jobless due to the decision to raise the age of retirement of government employees.

They argued that the chief secretary and the Law Department had also raised questions over the decision that was not in favour of the public. The court after hearing arguments issued a brief order in which the government’s decision was suspended. The detailed judgement will be issued later.

In June last year, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet had approved an increase in retirement age of the government employees from 60 to 63 years. It was claimed that the move would save Rs24 billion per annum.

Provincial Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai after the cabinet meeting told the media that retirement age for government employees was 65 in European countries and Brazil, 62 in Japan and 67 in the US.

He had argued that under Article 240(b), the provincial government has the power to enact legislation from the KP Assembly. The minister said that initially in Civil Servants Act 1973, the retirement age for government employees was 50 years and was later enhanced to 60.