Employees of the Punjab Waqf Board have to retire at the age of 65 yrs as the age of retirement cannot be extended in the contravention of Regulation 30 of Punjab Wakf Regulations, 1966

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Dismissing five different petitions filed by the petitioner, for the lack of merit, the bench of Rakesh Kumar Jain, J., refused to entertain petitioner’s contention that there is no provision in the Punjab Wakf Regulations about the retirement age of an Imam, and declared that all employees of the Board have to retire at the age of 60 years which can extend upto 65 years.

The petitioner was appointed as Imam of the Masjid Tila Baba Zafar Shah, Patiala on 09.12.1976. He filed a petition against the order dated 31.05.2012 passed by the Punjab Wakf Board by which he has been retired after attaining the age of 65 years. The petitioner via his counsel Arvinder Singh, submitted before the Court that at the time when the petitioner was appointed as an Imam, the Wakf Act, 1954, the Punjab Wakf Rules, 1964 and the Punjab Wakf Regulations, 1966 were in operation. However the Act of 1954 was repealed by Section 112 of the Wakf Act, 1995 and as per the contention of the petitioner counsel,  the Rules and Regulations also got repealed. He further contended that even if it is presumed that the Regulations survived as no other regulations have been made under the Act of 1995, still the Board had no jurisdiction to fix the age of retirement of the Imam. On the contrary, the counsel for the respondent V. Ramaswaroop contended that even though the Act of 1954 has been replaced by Wakf Act, 1995 and the Rules of 1964 have been superseded by Punjab Wakf Rules, 2010 but the 1966 Regulations have not been replaced under the Act of 1995 and have been adopted on 07.12.2005 mutatis mutandis and are governing the service conditions of the employees of the Board.

The Court observed that the petitioner has failed to cite any provision which provides that the Imam has to serve the Board throughout his life; rather Regulation 30, as referred by respondents clearly states that that no employee of the Board shall be retained after the age of 65 years. .[Hafiz Abdul Hameed v. State of Punjab, Civil Writ Petition No.13212 of 2012, decided on 22.04.2016]

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