Kochi: The Kerala High Court has set aside a State government order (GO) denying special pay to judicial officers sanctioned by the Supreme Court, saying it was completely unsustainable.
Justice Anu Sivaraman directed the government to take appropriate steps to see that the pension of the judicial officers who drew special pay at the time of their retirement is revised and the arrears are disbursed to them forthwith
The court was hearing petitions filed by judicial officers who are either working or have retired from service as district judge and the Kerala Judicial Officers' Association, with regard to refixation of pension payable to them by reckoning special pay which is paid as part of their emoluments.
Senior advocate Jaju Babu, who appeared on behalf of the petitioners, claimed that the orders passed by the government treating special pay as a special allowance and that it need not be reckoned for the purpose of fixation of pensionary benefits was per se against the directions issued of the Supreme Court.
"The impugned orders passed by the government, without considering the declaration of law by this court, are completely unsustainable. The contention of the respondents (government) that special pay cannot be reckoned for the purpose of fixation of pension is without any merit whatsoever. The said contentions are repelled. The orders and letters impugned in these writ petitions are, therefore, set aside," the court said in its order dated January 18.
The court declared that the special pay granted to judicial officers is a part of their pay and that it is to be reckoned for the purpose of calculation of pension.
"The respondents shall take appropriate steps to see that the pension of the judicial officers who drew special pay at the time of their retirement is revised and the arrears are disbursed to them forthwith, at any rate, within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment," the court said. PTI