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SC Constitutes Special Bench to Hear Matter Related to Parity of HC Judges Pension

2 min read

Debangana Ray

Published on July 31, 2022 at 17:57 IST

The Supreme Court constituted a special bench consisting Justice SK Kaul, Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice SR Bhat to consider the issues related to the parity between pension drawn by High Court judges who are elevated from the bar and service.

The Bench was constituted by the bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli while hearing an application in a plea by All India Judges Association for constitution of All India Judicial Commission for reviewing the service constitution of All India Judicial Commission for reviewing the service conditions of the judges of the district judiciary.

When the matter was called for hearing, Senior Advocate S Nagamuthu, appearing for the judge who had retired in 2012 said that the applicant was getting a pension of District Judge irrespective of him retiring as High Court Judge.

To further substantiate his contention, Senior Counsel referred to the order dated March 20, 2018 passed by the Bench of Justices J Chelameshwar and SK Kaul wherein the Court, after considering that the matter which deals with issue of principles of equality for pension amongst judges of the High Court, had opined that it would be appropriate for the matter to be examined by larger bench.

Considering the submissions made by the counsel, the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana urged ASG KM Nataraj to show some sympathy towards the retired judge.

CJI NV Ramana observed that, “Not in one case you’ve shown sympathy to retried judge. This is not what we want. At least in some cases there has to be parity.”

On ASG submitting that the Centre had not filed a counter, the CJI said, “They are at the fag end of their life and they’ve already retired, they are 70/80 years of their age. They are retired and they are judges.”

“Why don’t you amend the small piece of the act for the benefit of the judges? In these cases you don’t have to file counter or affidavits.”

In the said judgement, the Bench declared that for pensionary benefits, ten years’ practice as an advocate be added as a qualifying service for Judges elevated from the Bar.

He also submitted that he was challenging Part-III of the First Schedule of High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954 which deals with the Judges elevated from the State Judicial Service.

Considering the submissions made by the counsel, the bench said that to consider the issue related to the pension, it was constituting a special bench.

The bench then in their order said, “Taking into consideration long pendency of case and the issues related to pension of judges.”

“Taking into consideration the counsel we are constituting a bench of Justice SK Kaul, V Ramasubramanian and SR Bhat. The judges are requested to decide the matter.”