SC refuses to entertain plea looking for uniform retirement age for judges

New Delhi, April 12

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking uniform retirement age for judges of High Courts and the top court.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked the petitioner to approach the Union Government or the Law Commission of India with a representation.

Petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay, an advocate and BJP leader, argued that the different age of retirements for judges of high courts and the apex court is irrational.

The bench then said, “We are dismissing it. You can make a representation”.

Upadhyay then sought permission to withdraw the petition which was allowed.

The PIL stated that if there is uniformity in retirement age, the Judges of the High Court will discharge judicial work more independently and without any expectation to move to the Supreme Court.

Also, to minimise the apprehension of subordination between the Supreme Court and High Courts, it is appropriate to equate the retirement age of High Court Judge”s with Supreme Court judges, it said.

Contending that its irrational to have different retirement age for judges of constitutional courts, the plea filed by Upadhyay said increasing the retirement age and making it uniform i.e 65 years will not only strengthen the rule of law, but also secure the fundamental right of speedy justice, guaranteed under Article 21.

At present, the retirement age for the Supreme Court judges is 65 years whereas for the High Court judges, it is 62 years.

“Uniformity in the retirement age of Judges will create a pool of experienced judges in High Courts, which will be extremely useful for deciding the cases of extreme importance or which require deep and thorough knowledge for interpretation of the Constitution,” the plea filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey said.

Uniformity in the retirement age is not only necessary to reduce pendency of cases but also essential to attract and retain the best legal talent in the bench, the plea said. — PTI

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