The Bombay High Court has expressed unhappiness over non-payment of pension and arrears to retired judicial officers and warned that if they are not paid their dues, it would summon state government officials concerned and deprive them of their pension for two years. “We are most unhappy at this state of affairs. We expect the payment of pension and arrears to commence within four weeks,” said a bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and B P Colabawalla in an order delivered on October 13. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, filed separately by Retired Judicial Officers Association and some retired judicial officers in their individual capacity, urging for a direction to the state government to release their pension and arrears forthwith.
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Posting the matters for hearing on November 17, the bench clarified that it would be constrained to pass an order summoning all the officials concerned to the court.
“If we find that they are recalcitrant and were avoiding to perform their duties for no genuine and justifiable reasons, then we would go ahead and deprive them of their pension by issuing a direction that they will not obtain any benefit post-retirement including payment of arrears for two years. We hope that none will invite such drastic consequences,” the judges noted.
Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani told the court that the recommendations of Shetty Commission and Padmanabhan Commission with regard to computation and payment of pension are being implemented by the state. Even the issue of arrears has been considered, he said.
However, there were some clarifications sought by the office of the Accountant General and now the Department of law and Judiciary has taken steps to prepare replies and forward these clarifications to the Accountant General’s office. “That would be done within two weeks,” he assured.