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Lok Sabha Passes Bill To Clarify When Retired Supreme Court, High Court Judges Will Receive Additional Pension

Sneha Rao
8 Dec 2021 10:37 AM GMT
Lok Sabha Passes Bill To Clarify When Retired Supreme Court, High Court Judges Will Receive Additional Pension
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Lok Sabha passed the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 that seeks to amend: (i) the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, and (ii) the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958. These Acts regulate the salaries and conditions of service of the judges of High Courts and the...

Lok Sabha passed the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 that seeks to amend: (i) the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, and (ii) the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958. These Acts regulate the salaries and conditions of service of the judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court of India.

Under the Acts, all retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and their family members are entitled to pension or family pension. They are also entitled to an additional quantum of pension or family pension when they attain a certain age in accordance with a specified scale. The scale contains five age brackets (with minimum age of 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100 years), and the additional quantum increases with age (from 20% to 100% of the pension or family pension). The Bill clarifies that a person will be entitled to the additional pension or family pension from the first day of the month in which they complete the minimum age under the concerned age bracket.

While debating the Bill yesterday, MP Pinaki Misra from the Biju Janta Dal had raised the issue of the propriety of the Parliament passing this law when the judgements of High Courts and Supreme Court held a different view. He had pointed out that the Gauhati and Madhya Pradesh HC clarified that "from" in the said HC and SC (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Acts would mean the day one enters the age. He further pointed out that these judgements were challenged before the SC and the Court set dismissed the petition in 2019. He pointed out that the government, by bringing in the present "validating Act" was trying to nullify the Gauhati HC judgement that had attained finality by the order of the Supreme Court. 

In response, today Union Minister of Law and Justice Mr.Kiren Rijiju, said that it was the duty of the legislature to clarify the intention of the legislature if the courts misinterpret a position. He further added, 

"We are not reducing the entitlements of judges in terms of their salary and pension. We are only clarifying the intention of the legislature. The Legislative superiority of the House cannot be challenged. If on the basis of Gauhati HC judgement, all civil servants start claiming pension it will be a huge problem for us."

While debating the Bill, members of Parliament also considered allied issues of judicial pendency, vacancy, judicial transfers and appointment. After lengthy discussion, the Lok Sabha today passed the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021.

Click here to download the Bill 

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