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When Lawyers At 70-75 Years Argue Cases With No Difficulty, Why Should SC Judges Retire At 65? Attorney General Bats For Increasing Retirement Age

Srishti Ojha
4 Jan 2022 4:05 PM GMT
When Lawyers At 70-75 Years Argue Cases With No Difficulty, Why Should SC Judges Retire At 65? Attorney General Bats For Increasing Retirement Age
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The Attorney General for India has stressed the need to increase the retirement age of Supreme Court and High Court Judges.Addressing the virtual farewell event organised for Justice Subhash Reddy on his retirement, the Attorney General stated that it is a "travesty" that Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65 and High Court judges retire at the age of 62."Looking at our judges I can...

The Attorney General for India has stressed the need to increase the retirement age of Supreme Court and High Court Judges.

Addressing the virtual farewell event organised for Justice Subhash Reddy on his retirement, the Attorney General stated that it is a "travesty" that Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65 and High Court judges retire at the age of 62.

"Looking at our judges I can state with conviction that they will be able to perform their duties as Judge of Apex Court justly, fairly and with competence. When lawyers at 70-75 years have no difficulty in presenting their arguments, why shouldn't Supreme Court judges retire at 70 and High Court Judges at 65, so with all their experience and expertise they will be able to do credit to the Judicial system. It's time that the Higher Judiciary and Government of India put their heads together and fashion out a scheme for this purpose", AG said.

The Attorney General has on multiple occasions earlier spoken about the need to increase the retirement age of Judges.

Speaking at Justice Indu Malhotra's farewell in March last year, Attorney General Venugopal had said that it is unfortunate that judges have to retire at age of 65 from the Supreme Court.

While speaking on the occasion of Justice A K Goel's farewell in 2018, AG had strongly urged the government to raise the retirement age of supreme court judges from existing 65 to 68.

"A judge takes time to evolve and by the time he or she is in a position to put innovative thoughts to practice, comes the retirement age. This could have been avoided if the age of retirement was not 62 for High court judge and 65 for Supreme Court judges. That is because a judge has to evolve over the years. He has to have vast experience as an advocate. When he becomes a judge, he has to sit on different benches doing different subjects so that is an expert in each one. Finally the judge is elevated to the Supreme Court. In Supreme Court it is only when he presides that he is able to hold a sway in regard to the innovative thoughts that he has. By then, it would be time to say goodbye." AG had said.

The Chief Justice of India NV Ramana had also commented on the issue. During the farewell reference organised for Justice Nariman in August last year, CJI Ramana had said that "the retirement of people like Justice Nariman who are repositories of legal acumen makes one wonder if a person's age is an appropriate yardstick to decide the tenure".

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh who is also the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association has also been vocal about his views favouring the increase in Judges' retirement age.

Speaking at Justice Indu Malhotra's farewellMr Singh had stated that Judges shouldn't retire till 70

"65 is an age when you are at your peak, there is no reason why Judges should retire at 65", Singh had said.

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