A.S. Qureshi, J.
1. In this petition the petitioner is challenging the order of the Government of Gujarat (Annexure 'A') bearing No. AGE - 4779/ -5201'K -1 dated 25-6-1982 whereby the petitioner was ordered to be retired from service 'in public interest' with effect from 24-9-1982 i.e. the date of expiry of notice period of three months from the date of issue of order. The petitioner states that he is due to retire in the normal course on 31-3-1983 on reaching the age of 58 years. The Government seeks to retire him only for a period of six months prior to his normal date of retirement for no obvious reason. The petitioner has also stated that earlier the State Government had passed similar order Annexure 'C' bearing No. AGE - 4779 - C - 5201 - E, dated 21-1-1981 wherein also the reasons for premature retirement was stated to be 'in public interest'. The petitioner had made representation against the said premature retirement order (Annexure 'C') dated 21-1-1981. As a result of the representation of the petitioner the Government of Gujarat was pleased to cancel the said order of premature retirement.
Having cancelled its premature retirement order Annexure 'C' dated 21-l-1981 it is difficult to understand why the respondent-State thought it fit again to issue the second premature order dated 25-6-82 on the identical grounds namely 'in public interest'.
2. Mr. M.K. Joshipwa, the learned Counsel for the petitioner has 'submitted that the Government's own Circular (Annexure 'B') has laid down the Government policy with regard to the review of the service record of its employees at the age of 50 and 55. The Circular clarifies that there is no need for a further review after the age t f 55. In the present case, the petitioner was allowed to continue in service after the age of 55 and was served with the first order of premature retirement when he was nearly 57 years of age which is in contravention of the Government's own policy. When the petitioner reached the age of 55, it was open to the respondent State not to continue him in service any longer and to retire him at that stage. But after allowing him to continue after the age of 55 there is apparently no reason whatsoever to prematurely retire him at the age of 57. Mr. M.A. Panchal the learned Counsel for the respondent-State is unable to point out any cogent ground to justify the impugned order of premature retirement. The petitioner has referred to his being under suspension for about six years from 1962 to 1968 but that could not be the ground of his being retired premature in 1981 and in any case the petitioner having been cleared of the charges for which he was prosecuted along with others, there is no question of taking any action against him by way of premature retirement. It is, therefore, quite evident that the impugned order Annexure 'A' dated 25-6-82 retiring the petitioner with effect from 24-9-82 is illegal, void and inoperative in law. The same is, therefore, quashed and set aside. In the circumstances of the case, rule is made absolute with no order as to costs.