Punjab and Haryana High Court today ruled that the decision to enhance the employees’ retirement age from 58 to 60 by the previous Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda was an attempt to garner votes just before the Assembly elections; and was not an honest decision. The scathing observations on the previous government’s conduct came as Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa upheld the Khattar government’s decision of reducing the age from 60 to 58.
Justice Dhindsa ruled: “The timing of such decision cannot be lost on this court. The state Assembly elections were around the corner. The Model Code of Conduct was on the verge of being imposed. The decision to enhance the age of retirement and that too in derogation of the relevant rule can only be seen as an attempt to garner a particular vote bank… “This court would have no hesitation in holding that the action of the state government in reversing the earlier decision of enhancing the age of retirement from 58 years to 60 years by terming the same to be not honest is well founded”, he said. The Hooda Government had last year increased the retirement age of the employees by two years to 60, shortly before the October 15 Assembly election.