LAW MANTRA     (Think Beyond Others)

SC issues notice to the Government over pension to former Parliamentarians

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An NGO Lok Prahari has challenged the rules governing the lifetime pension for former legislators and their spouses. The NGO contended that pension to the members of Parliament was “not mandated by the Constitution”, thereby violating Article 106 of the Constitution of India. The major contention was that the provision under Article 106 that “Members of either House of Parliament shall be entitled to receive such salaries and allowances as may from time to time be determined by Parliament by law…” is applicable only to the current members and not former Parliamentarians. The Counsel Kamini Jaiswal, brought the fact into light that the law required a government employee to contribute to the pension fund to avail the benefits post-retirement. However, the petition brought to the Court’s attention the fact that the pension and allowances of the retired Parliamentarians would be the tax payers money sourced from the consolidated fund of India. 300% hike in the salaries of the members in 2010, and a 100% hike was recommended by the Parliamentary Panel last year clearly depicted how flexibly and limitlessly a law pertaining to pension and allowances can be drafted. The Petitioner NGO pleaded an examination into the steps taken by the government to set up a permanent process for determination of the salaries and allowances to the members of Parliament, and also to scrap such arbitrary rules

The Apex Court has opined that the pension and allowances provided for MPs and MLAs have to be reasonable and must not be arbitrary. It issued notices to the Centre, Secretary Generals of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the Election Commission of India and the Attorney General in pursuance of this petition.

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