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Nod for Bill on ex-judges’ pension calculation

An Additional District Session Judge-1 of Jhanjharpur sub-divisional court in Madhubani district recently passed several unusual orders that hit the headlines. Image for representation.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a Bill which seeks to clarify the process of counting the age of retired judges to determine when they will get enhanced pension.

Replying to the debate on The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told the House that the measure did not in any way affect the salary and pension of judges but only inserts an explanatory note to make the legislative intent clear about the additional quantum of pension.

Additional quantum of pension to retired judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court is being sanctioned on completing the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 years as the case may be, but there was a confusion about the process of calculating the age.

 

The Gauhati High Court had held that the benefit of the additional quantum of pension as per the High Court Judges Act would be available to a retired judge from the first day of his 80th year or immediately after completion of 79 years. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh also accepted the Gauhati High Court judgment and the Supreme Court refused to intervene.

Mr. Rijiju said the Government needed to clarify the process of calculating the age as retired civil officers and other Government employees might also cite the Gauhati High Court ruling as a precedent.

Pending cases

Talking about the high pendency of cases, the Law Minister said 90% of the cases were pending in lower courts and the Government of India was focusing on improving the physical infrastructure of the lower judiciary. The Government was also encouraging alternative dispute resolution mechanism, including arbitration and conciliation, online dispute resolution and mobile Lok Adalats.

On the issue of members’ queries regarding the Government’s intention of brining a Bill afresh to create a National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and replace the collegium system of appointment of judges, Mr. Rijiju said he would not talk about it now but said “the Government may have to revisit the constitutional provisions at some point”.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 11:56:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nod-for-bill-on-ex-judges-pension-calculation/article37903584.ece

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