Two and half years after a Supreme Court ruling to include the benefit of 10-year practice as an advocate for computing judges’ pension, the Law Ministry has announced an increase in pensionary allowance for retired judges elevated from the Bar with retrospective effect from 1 April, 2004.
In P Ramakrishnam Raju vs. Union of India, the apex court in March 2014, had declared that for pensionary benefits, 10 years’ practice as an advocate be added as a qualifying service for judges elevated from the Bar.
The letter issued by Ministry of Law and Justice, read: “Benefit of 10 years’ practice as an advocate to the service as a judge of High Court for the purpose of computing pension will be admissible to all Part-I High Court judges. However, in respect of Part-I High Court Judges retired prior to 1.4.2004, this benefit is to be reckoned from 1.4.2004.”
In P Ramakrishnam Raju case, the three-judge bench headed by then Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam had held: “When persons holding constitutional office retire from service, making discrimination in the fixation of their pensions depending upon the source from which they were appointed is in breach of Articles 14 and 16(1) of the Constitution.”
Speaking to LiveLaw Justice Sirijagan said that this notification is actually a clarification in respect of judges who retired prior to 1.4.2004 .
"The basic notification pursuant to a judgment of the Supreme Court and an amendment to the High Court Judges' (Conditions of Service) Act, was issued on 16.4.2016. As per that, judges who retired on or after 1.4.2004 was given the benefit. But the concerned officer issued a clarification to the effect that this benefit is not available to judges who retired prior to 1.4.2004, which was challenged in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court expressed displeasure, pursuant to which the present notification was issued making the benefit applicable to judges who retired prior to 1.4.2004 also, with effect from 1.4.2004. In fact many judges who retired on or after 1.4.2004 including me, got their pension revised in accordance with the notification, months ago.". He added
Read the notification here.