Cabinet okays hike in retirement age of HC judges

“Raising the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years will also aid in elimination of vacancies,’’ a Law Ministry document on legal and judicial reforms approved by the Union cabinet in November last year had said.

The Union Law Ministry is keen on introducing the legislation in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament. However, the ministry wants to have a discussion with various political parties before introducing it in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Raising the age limit of the judges requires amendment of Article 124(2) of the Constitution by a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Sources said Law Minister M Veerappa Moily is in favour of a consensus to pass through the amendment in both Houses.
Legal experts opine that high court judges serving till 65 will help in reducing the number of pending cases in state high courts.

There are 40,60,709 cases pending before the high courts, including 1,72,302 cases in the Karnataka High Court.  The Justice Venkatachaliah Committee to Review the Working of the Constitution had suggested that the retirement age of the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts be increased to 68 years 65 years, respectively.

The last time the retirement age of high court judges was increased was in 1963. The age limit was then raised from 60 years to the present 62 years.

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