The Union Cabinet is likely to take a call tomorrow on the long-pending demand of high court judges of one rank one pension.
According to the Law Ministry proposal which is on tomorrow's agenda of the Union Cabinet, a bill is proposed to rectify an anomaly as per which judges selected from the Bar get lesser pension than those elevated from state judicial services.
The proposal to amend the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, comes more than a year after the Supreme Court ruled that such a discrepancy must be removed.
According to the apex court ruling, if the service of a judicial officer is counted for fixation of pension, there is "no valid reason" as to why the experience at Bar cannot be treated as equivalent for the same purpose.
"...we accept the petitioners' claim and declare that for pensionary benefits, ten years' practice as an advocate be added as a qualifying service for judges elevated from the Bar."
The apex court ruling delivered by a bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam on March 31, 2014 had also said that "one rank one pension must be the norm in respect of a Constitutional office."
"The amendment bill is based on the Supreme Court judgment...we are only implementing the judgement," a senior government functionary said.
The apex court ruling came on a clutch of petitions filed by former judges of various high courts as well as by the Association of the Retired Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts elevated from the Bar.