Law in depth
Assessing the Public Servants Act 1974
The matters relating to public servants retirement is regulated by the Public Servants (Retirement) Act, 1974. After the independence of Bangladesh, the retirement age of the government service holders was regulated by the Public Servants (Retirement) Ordinance, 1973 (Ord. XXVI of 1973) which was repealed by the section 12 of the Public Servants (Retirement) Act, 1974. The retirement age for public servants was 57 years in The Public Servants (Retirement) Ordinance, 1973.
Initially, the retirement age was remaining 57 years in the new Public Servants (Retirement) Act, 1974. However, the retirement age for the public servants is enhanced by several amendments of the existing the Public Servants (Retirement) Act, 1974. This Act deals with the retirement age, retirement of freedom fighter, optional retirement, post-retirement leave, prohibition of re-employment, etc. In these perspectives enumerated in the precedent line, this Act gets preference over other laws, rules, regulations, etc of the country. It provides that the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any rule, regulation, bye-law, instrument or contractor in any terms and conditions of service of a public servant (section 3). At present, the retirement age for general public servants is 59 years (section 4). It was enhanced 57 to 59 years in 2012 by the Public Servants (Retirement) (Amendment) Act, 2012. It is pertinent to note that retirement age for freedom fighter is 60 years (section 4A). Earlier, the retirement age for freedom fighter was 59 years which was enhanced to 60 years by the section 2 of the Public Servants (Retirement) (Amendment) Act, 2013.
A retired public servant is not allowed to be re-employed in any manner in the service of the Republic or of any corporation, nationalised enterprise or local authority (section 5 (1)). However, a retired public servant may be re-employed in any office specified in the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (section 5 (2)). Also if the Honourable President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in his opinion think it is required for the better interest of the republic can employ a public servant on contract after his/her retirement (section 5(3)). A public servant may opt to retire from service at any time after he has completed twenty-five years of service by giving notice in writing to the appointing authority at least thirty days prior to the date of his intended retirement (section 9 (1)). Also, government, if it considers necessary in the public interest so to do, retire from service a public servant at any time after he has completed twenty-five years of service without assigning any reason (section 9 (2)).
If any judicial proceedings instituted by the Government or, as the case may be, employer or any departmental proceedings are pending against a public servant at the time of his retirement or, as the case may be, ceasing to be in service, he shall not be entitled to any pension or other retirement benefits, except his subscriptions to any provident fund and the interest thereon, till the determination of such proceedings, and the payment to him of any pension or other retirement benefits shall be subject to the findings in such proceedings (section 10).
Shahnewaj is an advocate and researcher.