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No Plans To Increase Retirement Age Of SC, HC Judges As Of Now: Union Law Ministry

Apoorva Mandhani
5 Jan 2019 8:46 AM GMT
No Plans To Increase Retirement Age Of SC, HC Judges As Of Now: Union Law Ministry
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There are no plans as of now to increase the age of retirement of judges of the Supreme Court from 65 years to 67 years and that of high courts from 62 years to 65 years.

The confirmation was issued by The Hindu, quoting the Union Law Ministry, amidst the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice to raise the retirement age of judges.

As per a TOI report, the Standing Committee, in its 99th report tabled in the Parliament on Thursday, made the recommendation in view of the large number of vacancies in the higher judiciary.

The report was quoted as stating, "The committee reiterates its recommendation (for raising the age of retirement of SC and HC judges) as it feels that it would help in retaining the existing judges, which in turn would help in reducing both vacancy and pendency of cases in the short run."

The committee expressed concern over the fact that 36% posts of judges are currently vacant and opined that the high courts have not been adhering to the guidelines laid down by the Apex Court for appointment of judges.

Similar reports had surfaced in July last year, when News18 had reported that the government is likely to introduce a bill in the monsoon session of Parliament to increase the retirement age of SC judges as 67 from 65, and HC judges as 64 from 62.

Attorney General K.K Venugopal had also supported the move. While speaking at the farewell function of Justice A.K Goel, Mr. Venugopal had said: "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. Therefore, it is my sincere Government of India will look into this issue and raise it to say, 65 for the judge of High Court and 68 for judges of Supreme Court. That will be in the interest of the justice delivery system."

However, soon after, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had rubbished the news, clarifying that there was no such proposal. 

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