High Court Judge gets only Rs.15000 pension per month

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The Supreme Court has recently requested the response of the Allahabad High Court, as well as the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments, regarding a plea for the implementation of one rank one pension for retired service quota judges. This plea specifically pertains to High Court judges who were appointed from the district judiciary rather than the bar. The petition, filed by retired Justice Ajit Singh, was taken up by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra on February 19. Justice Singh, who was appointed to the High Court from the Uttar Pradesh Higher Judiciary in 2018, currently receives a pension of ₹15,005 per month after retiring as a High Court judge on March 29, 2023.

The plea challenges a Union Law Ministry letter that restricts High Court judges elevated from the district judiciary (service) from being eligible for the pension available to those elevated from the bar, irrespective of their length of service. It argues that the tenure at the district judiciary is not considered when determining the pension of service quota High Court judges, while in the case of judges appointed from the bar, a period of ten years at the bar is counted as experience at the bench for pension calculation.

The plea also highlights that the current pension rate is not sufficient for the petitioner’s survival, considering his status. It deems it arbitrary to add a period of ten years for judges elevated from the bar for pension computation, while not considering the period of service as a judge of the district judiciary for the same purpose.

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The petitioner seeks the annulment of the Law Ministry’s letter and requests that the pension for retired High Court judges appointed from the district judiciary be equivalent to that of High Court judges appointed from the bar. This should be achieved by taking into account the tenure of service as a judge of the district judiciary.

Senior Advocate and retired Allahabad High Court judge Sudhir Kumar Saxena, along with advocates Aviral Saxena, Piyush Thanvi, Mohd Imran Ahmad, and Shrawani, appeared for retired Justice Singh. The Supreme Court had previously observed that retired district judges were not receiving adequate pension and also noted that some High Court judges were not being paid pension after retirement.

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