Supreme Court dismisses PIL against pension, benefits to ex-MPs
The Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging payment of pension and other facilities to former members of Parliament (MPs) and their dependents, saying it will not interfere with the issue.
A bench of Justices J Chelameshwar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul ruled that it is not a justiciable issue and the matter in challenge “is in the orbit of the wisdom of Parliament in choosing/changing the legislative policy”.
The court was ruling on a plea by an NGO, Lok Prahari, which argued that providing pension/family pension to ex-MPs as well as continuation of facilities regarding unutilised quota of telephone calls, electricity and water units are illegal and must be scrapped. The plea argued that pension and other perks given to MPs even after demitting office was contrary to right to equality and even the Constitution was silent on the issue.
The SC said the expression “allowances” of MPs occurring in the Seventh Schedule is wide enough to cover the payment of “pension” and other benefits.
The central government had on March 7 told the apex court that the entitlement of former MPs to get pension and other benefits was “justified” as their dignity has to be maintained even after they complete their tenure as parliamentarians.