The Court of Appeal today issued an interim order suspending the inclusion of Doctors and consultant specialist doctors from a gazette notification issued reducing compulsory retirement of government sector employees to 60 years. This interim order will be effective until January 25.
The Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justices Sobhitha Rajakaruna and Dhammika Ganepola made this order consequent to a writ petition filed by 176 consultant specialist doctors.
The petitioners are Specialist Consultants in varied fields of medicine including Cardiology, Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Oncology, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Haematology, Opthalmogy, Histopatholy, Anaesthesia, Paediatrics and Auto-Rhinolaryngology.
The petitioners are challenging the decision of the Cabinet of ministers dated 17-10-2022. They alleged that this decision has been made illegally and in complete violation of their legitimate expectation to continue in service at least until 63 years of age.
The Petitioners stated that since 2017, as consultant specialist doctors, they have been guaranteed a defined compulsory age of retirement of 63 years, by both Cabinet Decisions as well as by the Amendment to the Minute on Pensions with effect from 6.6.2017, and therefore, that they were distinctly identified as a separate category, different and separate to that of other categories of public officers in general and that this status and legitimate expectation had been continuing for a period of 5 years, from 2017 upto 2022.
Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC
with Counsel Lakmini Warusevitane, Dr. Milhan Mohamed appeared for the petitioners. Uditha Egalahewa PC and Manohara De Silva PC appeared for seven other petitioners