One Rank One Pension for Judges: Supreme Court refers another matter to larger Bench
The Supreme Court today referred another matter relating to One Rank One Pension for judges to a larger Bench.
The petition, filed by retired judge of the Allahabad High Court Justice Alok Kumar Mukherjee, challenges certain provisions of the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Services) Act, 1954. It has termed the provisions relating to computation of pension as “discriminatory” and violative of Fundamental Rights.
Filed through Advocate Manoj Goel, the petition came up for hearing before the Bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao today.
It was argued that the petitioner had not received his pension since January 2017, and that his service as a High Court Judge for a little over nine months was not considered during computation of his pension.
In light of these facts, the petitioner has prayed for the First Schedule of Part III of the Act to be declared unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14 and 21.
The petition has also prayed for the principle of ‘One Rank One Pension’ to be brought in for computation of pension of retired judges. It further claims that the “discriminatory” method of computation amounts to “apathy, undue harassment and violates rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21.”
The Court has now referred the matter to a larger Bench.
Earlier this year, a similar petition was filed by Justice M Vijayaraghavan, who retired from Madras High Court. The provisions of the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Services) Act were challenged on grounds similar to those raised in Justice Mukherkjee’s petition.
In that matter, the Bench of Justice (retd.) J Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had referred the matter to a larger Bench.