New Delhi, April 12 : The Supreme Court on Monday queried an advocate whether he had moved court seeking judiciary to enhance its own age of retirement, as it declined to entertain a plea seeking uniform of retirement for the judges of High Court and the top court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A.Bobde and comprising Justices A.S.Bopanna and V.Ramasubramanian asked advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, “You want judiciary to enhance its own age of retirement? What is this?” Upadhyay submitted that both High Court and top court have the same oath and the same duty, and the judges are protector of our rights.
“I have many friends who do not want to become High Court judges because of early retirement age”, submitted Upadhyay.
The bench replied: “there must be something wrong with their thinking if this is their reasoning.and you call them fine lawyers.”
After a brief hearing in the matter, the Chief Justice said the court is not inclined to entertain the plea and asked Upadhyay to make a representation before the government.Upadhyay said difference in retirement of judges of the High Court and top court is arbitrary and irrational.
The bench told Upadhyay it was enacted in the Constitution.
The Chief Justice queried Upadhyay, “Have you asked the judges if they want their retirement age to be increased?” After a brief hearing in the matter, Upadhyay agreed to withdraw the petition.
The plea had said in developed countries, retirement age of higher court judges varies from 70-80 years.For example, Judges retires at the age of 75 years in UK and Canada and at the age of 70 years in Australia, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Norway.
Moreover, judges works for lifetime in the United States, Russia, New Zealand and Iceland, subject to their physical-mental fitness.
The petitioner argued that uniformity in the retirement age will not only necessary to reduce pendency of cases but it will also attract and retain the best legal talent on the bench.
To reduce judicial and procedural error, India needs more experienced judges, argued the petitioner.
At present, the retirement age for the apex court judges is 65 years whereas for the High Court judges, it is 62 years.“Finest Lawyers don’t want to become Judge of the High Courts because instead of continuously giving valuable services to the nation, High Court Judges are compelled to retire at a very early age i.e., 62 years”, said the plea.
The petitioner argued that 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.