The Supreme Court on 20-09-2020 issued notice in a plea seeking issuance of directions to the Madhya Pradesh (MP) State Government as well as the High Court of MP to increase the age of superannuation of members of the to 62 years.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & v. Ramasubramaniun took up the plea for hearing which states that the failure on the part of the MP State Government to increase the age of superannuation of the Subordinate Judicial members viz. members of the judiciary below the High Court has resulted in “hostile discrimination vis-à-vi State Government 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. v. Union of India & Ors (2002) 4 SCC 247. which held that superannuation of Subordinate Judicial officers cannot be raised to 62 years of age. The plea states that the State Government employees getting the benefit of superannuation till the age of 62 whereas Subordinate Judicial officers have to retire at the age of 60, is clearly a violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

The Petitioner-Association has averred that prior to the notification dated 31-03-2018 issued by the MP State Government, the superannuation age of an employee was 60 years, which was later enhanced to 62 years vide the said notification. Furthermore, the plea states that by promulgation of Ordinance,  title the Madhya Pradesh Shashkiya Sevak (Adhivarshiki-Ayu) Sanshodhan Adhyadesh, 2018 wherein the age of  superannuation 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 the same, 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 between Judicial officers and other State officers and employees, who get the benefit of superannuation till the age of 62 years”.

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 reads that the Court shall 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.

Writ Petition – WP for Super annuation