The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice in a plea seeking issuance of directions directions to the Madhya Pradesh State Government as well as the High Court of MP to increase the age of superannuation of members of Subordinate Judiciary to 62 years.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun took up the plea for hearing which states that the failuire on the part of the authorities to increase the age of superannuation as has been done for MP State government employees has resulted in "hostile discrimination vis-à-vi State Govt. employees who are governed by the same service rules". The plea also seeks modification of paras 26 & 40 of the judgment of Supreme Court in the case of All India Judges Association & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors. which held that superannuation of subordinate judicial officers cannot be raised to 62 years of age.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh along with Advocate on Record Samir Malik appeared for the petitioner(s), the Madhya Pradesh Judges Association.
The plea states that if State Governments would be getting the benefit of superannuation at the age of 62 but judges have to retire at the age of 60, it is clearly a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
Petitioner-Association has averred that prior to the notification dated March 31, 2018 issued by the state government, the superannuation age of an employee was 60 years, which was later enhanced to 62 years vide the said notification. Further to this, the plea states that by promulgation of Ordinance, the superannuation of age of Judges of Subordinate Judiciary will be 60 years whereas Subordinate Employees of District Courts Class III & 1V will retire at age of 62 years.
In light of this, the plea brings out that, "Government of MP has deprived subordinate Judicial officers of State of MP the benefit of increase in the superannuation age and thereby Government of MP has discriminated Judicial officers, as other State officers and employees are getting benefit of superannuation age of 62 but the Judicial Officer has to retire at the age of 60"
Aggrieved by the said discrimination, it is stated that the association made a representation to the Government which was duly rejected by them. Further to this, it is contended that the issue of increase in superannuation age is the exclusive power of State Government.
In this backdrop, the prayer of the petition reads that the Court issue directions for increasing the age of superannuation of Subordinate Judicial Officers to 62 years as has been done for the State Government employees and consequently amend Rule 16 of the Madhya Pradesh Higher Judicial Service Rules, 2017 and Rule 14 of the Madhya Pradesh Judicial Service (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1994.
The plea has been drawn by Advocate Yunus Malik.