The Supreme Court on 22nd September, Tuesday issued a notice in a plea asking for issuance of directions to the Madhya Pradesh State government as well as the High Court of Madhya Pradesh to increase the superannuation of members of Subordinate Judiciary to 62 years.
The bench comprised of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice V Ramasubramanian took up the plea of hearing the case of States’ failure on the part of the authorities to increase the retirement age as has been done for MP State government employees had an unexpected outcome “hostile discrimination vis-à-vis State government employees who are also governed by the same service rules.” The plea further pursues alteration of paragraphs 26 and 40 of the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of All India Judges Association & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. which held that the superannuation age of Judicial officers couldn’t be raised to 62 years. The senior Advocate Vikas Singh along with Advocate Samir Malik appeared on behalf of the petitioners, the Madhya Pradesh Judges Association. The main contention of the plea was that if the state government is availing the benefit of superannuation till the age of 62 years, whereas the retirement age of Judges was at 60 and thus this can be regarded as a clear violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
The contention made by the petitioner stated that notification dated March 31, 2018, as issued by the state government, the retirement age was mentioned as 60 years which was later on enhanced to 62 years vide the said notification. Further, it was also averred that promulgation of Ordinance, the superannuation age of Judges of Subordinate Judiciary will be 60 years whereas the Subordinate Employees of District Courts Class III and IV would be retiring at age of 62 years. In this view, the plea makes it evident that the MP government has deprived the subordinate Judicial officers of State of MP of availing the benefit of an increase in the superannuation age and thereby discriminated the Judicial officers of MP as all the other state officers are enjoying the superannuation age of 62 years whereas the Judicial officer needs to retire at age of 60. As they were aggrieved by this discrimination, an association made a representation to the government which was rejected by the State government, and further it was contended by the government that it was their exclusive power to whether grant the superannuation or not. The plea was presented by Advocate Yunus Malik and the applicant prays that the Court should issue directions for increasing the superannuation age of the Subordinate Judicial Officers to 62 years as it has been done for the State government employees and subsequently amended Rule 16 of the Madhya Pradesh Higher Service Rules, 2017 and Rule 14 of the Madhya Pradesh Judicial Service (Recruitment and Condition of Service) Rules, 1994. [READ ORDER]