T. Ramaprasada Rao, J.
1. In this batch of writ petitions a common question is involved, and it is' agreed that the facts in W.P. No. 4281 of 1970, may be noticed. The petitioner was appointed as a Social Welfare Worker by direct recruitment in proceedings issued by the Additional Development Commissioner, dated 25th April, 1962. His scale of pay was fixed and it is not disputed that it was a regular appointment made by the appointment authorities. At the time when the petitioner joined duty he was 48 years of age. His probation was declared to be satisfactory on 17th May, 1963. The case of the petitioner is that under G.O. No. 2341, Rural Development and Local Administration, dated 30th October, 1965, the Government issued an order that the age limit of superannuation should be enhanced from 55 to 60 years in the case of political sufferers who took part in the freedom struggle and that executive instruction was made applicable to the petitioner and persons similarly placed. Later, by a memo, dated 4th November, 1970, issued pursuant to G.O. No. 2161, Rural Development and Local Administration, dated 30th October, 1970 the age limit of superannuation was reduced from 60 years to 55 years. On the basis of this the petitioner was apprehensive that he will be superannuated on 15th December, 1970. Therefore, he came up to this Court for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash G.O. No. 2161, Rural Development and Local Administration dated 30th October, 1970, stating that the respondent had no powers to issue such an executive instruction so as to divest vested rights in the petitioner which he secured not only under the earlier Government Order, dated 30th October, 1965, but also under G.O. No. 2734, dated 28th December, 1963, which instruction was incorporated as a statutory rule under the Special Madras General Subordinate Service Rules as rules applicable to the Social Welfare Workers in the Madras General Subordinate Service. Excepting for the fact that in all cases the date of recruitment and the age would differ, the facts are similar and the contention is the same.
2. After hearing the learned Government Pleader I find that the relevant provisions to be perused in connection with the subject-matter are as follows:
Under G.O. No. 57, Rural Development and Local Administration, dated 6th January, 1961, age limit of superannuation was enhanced for Social Welfare Workers from 55 to 60 years in the case of political sufferers who took part in the freedom struggle and courted imprisonment and who have been subsequently appointed as Social Welfare Workers. Later, the Government apparently found that as the Social Welfare Workers form a cadre of service under the Madras General Subordinate Service, special rules relating to such services may be made and in this view while captioning the Social Welfare Workers' Services as Class III, they made the following special rule relating to the special class of service. Rule 4, age limit:
(a) No person shall be eligible for appointment to the post, if he has completed the age of fifty-three years on the first day of July of the year in which the selection for appointment is made.
(b) In the case of persons, who have themselves taken part in the freedom struggle and courted imprisonment and appointed as Social Welfare Workers, the age of superannuation shall be 60 years. This provision shall apply to those who are to be appointed up to the year 1965.
3. It is not in dispute that this rule is one framed under Article 309 of the Constitution of India, by the Governor of the State in exercise of the powers vested in him under the Constitution. Later G.O. No. 2341, Rural Development and Local Administration, dated 30th October, 1965, was issued. The substance of the Government Order is in accord with the letter and spirit of the rule as above. Under the above executive instruction certain concessions were extended to all political sufferers recruited up to the end of December, 1965. Thereafter the challenged Government Order has been passed as G.O. 2161, Rural Development and Local Administration, dated 30th October, 1970. This runs as follows:
Community Development - Social Welfare Workers - Political sufferers appointed as Social Welfare Workers - Age of superannuation - Age reduced to 55 - Orders issued.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LOCAL ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT
G.O.Ms. No. 2161
Dated 30th October, 1970.
1. G.O.Ms. No. 57 R.D. & L.A., dated 6th January, 1961.
2. G.O.Ms. No. 2341 R.D. & L.A., dated 30th October, 1965.
3. G.O.Ms. No. 1198 R.D. & L.A., dated 24th June, 1970.