High Court pursues retirement benefits to judges, family

SHILLONG: The High Court of Meghalaya has said the government should include spouse and children of retired judges for medical treatment and other facilities.
During the hearing of the petition of Registrar General, the High Court of Meghalaya against the State Government on Wednesday, the single bench headed by Justice SR Sen said the additional advocate general filed an affidavit regarding medical facilities to retired judges.
However, the court said it appears that the benefits as per the affidavit were given only to retired judges.
“The government is directed to revise the said rule as follows: ‘Retired judges/spouse/children’. So, it means that they should include spouse and children for medical treatment.The Law Secretary is directed to revise the same as ordered above within a week,” the order said.
Protocol, guest rules
As for the protocol service/Meghalaya State Guest Rules of retired judges, it was informed to the court that the matter was under process by the GAD.
According to the court, the Meghalaya State Guest Rule, 1991, was there at the inception of the High Court but suddenly it was withdrawn without consultation of the High Court by some officers.
The government had issued a notification on October 4 this year whereby it had amended Rule 10(a) of the Meghalaya State Guest Rule, 1991.
“It is unfortunate that such amendment was made without consultation with the High Court. Accordingly, the notification dated October 4, 2018, is hereby set aside,” the court said.
The court also directed the GAD to make protocol service as well as the Meghalaya State Guest Rules “at the same tune and equal facilities to be provided as is applicable to sitting judges, including spouse and children”.
Domestic help
On February 20 this year, the full court passed a resolution for enhancement of domestic helps for retired judges but the same was sent back for reconsideration by the full court.
“I am not pressing right now for enhancement of domestic help and it is left with the discretion of the government. However, domestic allowances as per the resolution, government should also include spouse/children of the retired judges,” the court said.
The matter relating to reimbursement of phone bills of retired chief justice, retired judges of the High Court was fixed at Rs 10,000 per month in the full court.
Mobile bill
“In that regard, the government (is) to issue a notification with immediate effect. That means retired chief justice and judges will be entitled for Rs 10,000 only per month for mobile bill, landline, internet bills etc as well as to fix mobile at the rate of Rs 80,000 only for the judges,” the order said.
The order said one-and-a-half months ago, the chief justice had convened a meeting comprising chief secretary, additional chief secretary, GAD and law secretary, but it appears that nothing has happened till date.
“This whole exercise is to be completed within a week from the date of the order otherwise this court will be compelled to take suo motu contempt against the officers,” the court said.
The matter will come up for hearing on December 13.

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