The government today took strong exception to the Supreme Court’s observation on pension for MPs, saying it was the sacrosanct right of Parliament to decide on the issue, giving an indirect message to the apex court not to stray into the domain of lawmakers. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told the Lok Sabha that the issue of perks and pensions to MPs are given as per provision of the law and it is in the exclusive domain of Parliament.
“I think every member of the House agrees that the right of the House is sacrosanct. Parliament has every right to decide about salaries and allowances of the MPs,” he said. He told Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that “the entire House is with you on the matter.”
Kumar’s response came after a number of opposition MPs raise the issue of the Supreme Court’s reported comments that 80 per cent former law markers are ‘crorepatis’ (millionaires). Yesterday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in the Rajya Sabha that Parliament alone has authority to decide on how much pension MPs can draw and inter-institutional discipline has to be respected.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, TMC MP Saugata Roy said while the apex court was transgressing its rights, Parliament was not asking why former judges are being given pension.
“The Supreme Court is transgressing its rights. It is an exclusive right of Parliament to decide on the issue. We are not asking why SC judges are being paid pension. We should take a stand on the issue,” he said.
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday reportedly said that pension and perks to MPs seemed ‘prima facie’ unreasonable and had sought responses from the Centre and the Election Commission of India on a plea seeking the scrapping of pension and other perks being given to Members of Parliament.
A bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar had issued notices to the Secretary General of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on the plea filed by NGO Lok Prahari on the issue.