Whether Major Penalty of Compulsory Retirement Can be Imposed before Completion of 20 Years Service

Here the common misconception that 20 years qualifying service for pension is prerequisite for imposition of major penalty of compulsory retirement will be expatiated upon in the light of relevant rules.

In fact Rule 12 of Civil Servant Act 1974 is the prime cause of misconception that 20 years service is mandatory for imposition of major penalty of compulsory retirement. It should however must be kept in mind that the said provision of Civil Servant Act is not meant to cover the cases of compulsory retirement rather it is meant to deal the cases wherein the competent authority, in public interest, decides to compulsorily retire the civil servant on completion of twenty years service. It has absolutely no nexus with the  imposition of major penalty of compulsory retirement under Efficiency & Discipline Rules. The same is corroborated by the rule 3.5  (i-a) & 3.5(ii) of Civil Service Pension Rules.

Rule 3.5 (i-a) of the Civil Service Pension Rules provides Retiring Pension to those Civil Servants who have been compulsorily retired by the Competent Authority, in public interest after completion of 20 years qualifying service. However, Rule 3.5(ii) provides retiring pension to those civil servants who is compulsorily retired from service by the authority competent to remove him from service on grounds of inefficiency, misconduct or corruption. The point to consider is that the both provisions deals with the cases of compulsory retirement but the scope of the both is entirely different. Here reference is also made to the Efficiency & Discipline Rules wherein nothing is provided regarding prerequisite Service for imposition of Major Penalty of Compulsory Retirement. It thus means that Major Penalty of compulsory retirement can be imposed at any stage of service irrespective of length of service and the person so retired will be entitled of pensionary benefits under clause 3.5(ii) of Civil Service Pension Rules irrespective of length of service. It has also been affirmed by the Government of the Punjab, Finance Department vide instruction dated 24.12.2018.

Thus the  notion that major penalty of compulsory retirement cannot be imposed upon an employee with less than 20 years qualifying service is altogether wrong.

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