Government of Andhra Pradesh & Ors. Vs. N. Subbarayudu & Ors  INSC 514 (26
H.K. SEMA & MARKANDEY KATJU O R D E R REPORTABLE CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3939-3941 OF 2002 WITH
These appeals have been preferred by the State against the
judgment and order of the Division Bench of the High Court. By the impugned
order, the High Court directed that the respondents be paid the pensionary
benefits from the respective date of their retirement under the provisions of
Pension Rules 1980.
We have heard the parties at length.
Briefly stated the facts are as follows.
The respondents were Lecturers in private aided college. The age of
superannuation of the respondents was 60 years. By an amendment of the
Education Code in 1993, the age of superannuation of the respondents has been
brought down to ......2.
- 2 - 58 years. In the said amendment it was also provided that the
respondents shall be entitled to pension with effect from 1st November 1992. Aggrieved thereby, the respondents preferred writ petition before the High
The Division Bench of the High Court, after hearing the parties, was of the
view that the cut off date 1/11/1992 fixed by the Government was arbitrary and
discriminatory. In a catena of decisions of this Court it has been held that the cut off
date is fixed by the executive authority keeping in view the economic
conditions, financial constraints and many other administrative and other
attending circumstances. This Court is also of the view that fixing cut off
dates is within the domain of the executive authority and the Court should not
normally interfere with the fixation of cut off date by the executive authority
unless such order appears to be on the face of it blatantly discriminatory and
No doubt in D.S. Nakara & Ors. vs. Union of India 1983(1) SCC 305 this
Court had struck down the cut off date in ......3.
- 3 - connection with the demand of pension. However, in subsequent
decisions this Court has considerably watered down the rigid view taken in
Nakara's Case (supra), as observed in para 29 of the decision of this Court in
State of Punjab & Ors. vs. Amar Nath Goyal & Ors. (supra). There may be various considerations in the mind of the executive authorities
due to which a particular cut off date has been fixed. These considerations can
be financial, administrative or other considerations. The Court must exercise
judicial restraint and must ordinarily leave it to the executive authorities to
fix the cut off date. The Government must be left with some leeway and free
play at the joints in this connection. In fact several decisions of this Court have gone to the extent of saying
that the choice of a cut off date cannot be dubbed as arbitrary even if no
particular reason is given for the same in the counter affidavit filed by the
Government, (unless it is shown to be totally capricious or whimsical) vide
State of Bihar vs. Ramjee Prasad 1990(3) SCC 368, Union of Indian & Anr.
vs. Sudhir Kumar Jaiswal 1994(4) SCC 212 (vide para 5), Ramrao & Ors. vs.
All India Backward Class Bank Employees Welfare Association & Ors. 2004 (2)
SCC 76 .....4.
- 4 - (vide para 31), University Grants Commission vs. Sadhana Chaudhary
& Ors. 1996(10) SCC 536, etc. It follows, therefore, that even if no reason
has been given in the counter affidavit of the Government or the executive
authority as to why a particular cut off date has been chosen, the Court must
still not declare that date to be arbitrary and violative of Article 14 unless
the said cut off date leads to some blatantly capricious or outrageous result. As has been held by this Court in Divisional Manager, Aravali Golf Club
& Anr. vs. Chander Hass & Anr. 2008(3) 3 JT 221 and in Government of Andhra Pradesh
& Ors. vs. Smt. P. Laxmi Devi 2008(2) 8 JT 639 the Court must maintain judicial
restraint in matters relating to the legislative or executive domain. For the reasons afore-stated, the impugned order of the High Court is set
aside. The appeals are allowed.