176 Specialist doctors go before Court against 60 years compulsory retirement
Posted on November 28th, 2022

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Filing a writ petition before Court of Appeal, about 176 consultant specialist doctors have challenged the government’s decision to reduce their compulsory retirement age to 60 years.

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.

When this petition came up before Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Sobitha Rajakaruna and Justice Dhammika Ganepola issued notices on the respondents including the Cabinet of Ministers, the Minister of Health and the Director General of Health Services returnable for December 13. The notices were issued on the respondents on the basis that a prima facie case had been established by the petitioners to proceed with the case.

President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena appearing for the petitioners submitted to Court that the petitioners, the specialist doctors have challenged the decision of the Cabinet of ministers dated 17-10-2022, since 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’ position is 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 PCwith Counsel Lakmini Warusevitane, Dr. Milhan Mohamed appeared for the petitioners. Uditha Egalahewa PC and Manohara De Silva PC appeared for seven other petitioners. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)

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