Doctors file petition against retirement at 60

Four consultants at Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital filed a fundamental rights petition against the Hospital administration challenging a decision by the authorities to reduce the compulsory age of retirement from 65 years to 60.

The petitioners are Dr. (Mrs) C.N. Karunaratne, Consultant Anesthesiologist and an Intensivist, Dr. (Mrs) D. Anula Wijesundera, a Consultant physician, Dr. Gamini C. Goonethilake, a Consultant Surgeon and Dr. P.A. Goonarathne, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon.

The petitioners have also challenged the decision that requires all consultants to seek annual extension beyond the age of 57 which is stated as the optional age of retirement. The list of the respondents includes the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital Board and Hospital Chairman N.W.E. Wijewantha as the first and second respondents respectively.

The petitioners are senior medical practitioners in their respective specialities and are employed as consultants with the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital while the letters of appointment do not specify the retirement age of its employees.

In their plea, the petitioners have asked the court of a writ of prohibition restraining any of the respondents altering the terms of employment of the petitioners. The petitioners also plead to prohibit altering the terms of employment of the petitioners as set out in their original letters of appointment, including the fundamental term and undertaking that their compulsory age of retirement shall be 65 years, in accordance with the established principles of law.

The petitioners requested an interim order staying the purported decision until the final hearing and determination of the application of the petitioners.

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