SC dismisses PIL against pension, benefits to former MPs
(Sourced from PTI)
The Supreme Court has today dismissed a PIL challenging the perks, including pension and travel allowances, given to former Parliamentarians. A bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, "The petition is dismissed". The bench had reserved its verdict on March 7. The apex court was told by the Centre that the entitlement of former MPS to get pension was "justified".
The Centre had on March 7 told the apex court that the entitlement of former Members of Parliament (MPs) to get the pension and other benefits was "justified" as their dignity has to be maintained even after they complete their tenure as parliamentarians. The Centre had told the bench about the Finance Bill 2018 which contains provisions regarding salary and pension of MPs.
Finance Bill 2018 also talks about the revision of their allowances after every five years starting from April 1, 2023, on the basis of cost inflation index. The SC had in February directed the Centre to clarify its stand on setting up of an independent mechanism for determination of salaries and allowances of MPs after the government had said the issue was "under consideration".
The top court had in March last year agreed to examine the constitutional validity of laws granting pension and other perks to retired MPs and had sought responses from the Centre and ECI on the issue.
An NGO "Lok Prahari" has approached the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court order dismissing its plea which had claimed that pension and other perks being given to MPs even after demitting office were contrary to Article 14 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution. The plea said that Parliament has no power to provide for pensionary benefits to lawmakers without making any law.