There is no proposal to increase the retirement age of Supreme Court judges and a Constitutional Amendment Bill introduced by the previous regime to increase the retirement age of high court judges has lapsed, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
In a written reply, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said that the government has not received any proposal from former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam for a fixed tenure for CJIs.
He said there is no proposal for increasing the retirement age of SC judges who retire at the age of 65 years. The United Progressive Alliance government's Constitutional Amendment Bill in 2010 to increase the retirement age of HC judges from the present 62 to 65 years -- to bring it on par with the retirement age of apex court judges -- has lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha, he said.
The Bill never came up for consideration after its introduction. Chief Justice of India R M Lodha had recently said he did not agree with the idea of having fixed tenure for chief justice.
He had differed with his predecessor Justice Sathasivam who had said that there should be two-year fixed tenure for CJI and chief justices of high courts. In another reply, Prasad said against a sanctioned strength of 31 judges, including the CJI, there are 27 judges as on July 8, leaving four vacancies.
Earlier this week, he had said against the approved strength of 906, the 24 high courts were functioning with a working strength of 636 judges -- a shortfall of 270.