A public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the pension provided to the personal staff of ministers has been filed in the Kerala High Court.
Dinesh Menon, the petitioner, submitted that the personal staff of ministers were being changed every two years so that the maximum number of party workers get life-long pension from the exchequer.
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had recently flagged the issue.
The petitioner submitted that 362 personal staff were directly appointed by the 21 ministers and the Chief Whip of the State government. The State had to shell out ₹1.12 crore a month for their salary and 1,223 individuals, who had served as personal staff of the ministers, were currently receiving pension from the State.
Pension was provided to the personal staff since April 1, 1984, through a special rule issued following a decision of the Cabinet. The minimum pension for personal staff is ₹3,550. A personal staff, who completes two-and-a-half years of service, will receive the pension for the rest of his life along with 7% DA and gratuity, he submitted.
Most of the States in the country were appointing personal staff by deputation or transfer and no State government except West Bengal was giving pension to the personal staff. The Central government too was not giving pension nor family pension to the personal staff, he submitted.
The government decision providing pension was in violative of the Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. The decision was arbitrary, against public interest and irrational, the petitioner contended.