SC Denies Voluntary Retirement to Government Doctor, Holds Right to Life Superior than Right to Retire


August 22, 2018

The Supreme Court’s recent verdict is a very essential order concerning the medical fraternity as the Supreme Court in view of public interest has held that voluntary retirement of Doctors employed in Government hospitals is not automatic.


The Apex Court’s verdict is a noteworthy one in the wake of numerous doctors opting for private practice rather than being employed with the Government hospital.

Case name: The State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. v. Achal Singh

In the case, the Respondent Doctors, Government servants had applied for voluntary retirement under Rule 56 of the Uttar Pradesh Fundamental Rules. However, her request was rejected on the ground of lack of specialized doctors and in public interest.

Aggrieved by rejection, the Respondent Doctors approached the High Court, whereby the Court allowed the Respondents’ request for voluntary retirement.

In appeal, the Supreme Court while placing public interest on a higher pedestal analysed the issue whether voluntary retirement is automatic or an order is required to be passed would depend upon the phraseology used in a particular rule under which retirement is to be ordered?

Bench’s Verdict

The Apex Court was of the view that under Rule 56 as applicable in the State of Uttar Pradesh, a notice of voluntary retirement does not come into effect automatically in the expiry of 3 months period.

Public Interest to be weighed when Voluntary Retirement is sought by Government Servant

    • The Supreme Court in this context has noted that the concept of public interest can also be invoked by the Government when voluntary retirement sought by an employee would be against the public interest.
    • While allowing the appeal, the Court also noted that there is already a paucity of doctors and the system cannot be left without competent senior. That Poorest of the poor obtain treatment at the Government hospitals. They cannot be put at the peril, even when certain doctors are posted against the administrative posts.


  • While validating the Appellant State’s act in the case, the Court noted that where the right of the public are involved in obtaining treatment, the State Government took a decision as per Explanations to decline the prayer for voluntary retirement considering the public interest.
  • The Supreme Court also observed that the Respondents were claiming their right to retire under Part III of the Constitution, however such right cannot be supreme that the right to life.


The entire case can be accessed here.