Cause, A Registered Society Vs. Union
of India  Insc 621 (22 November 2001)
Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, N. Santosh Hegde, S.N. Variava & Shivaraj V. Patil
PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 246 OF 1993
Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 was amended by the
Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Act, 1976; thereby
the principal Act was renamed the Salaries, Allowances and Pension of Members
of Parliament Act and Section 8A was introduced giving to Members of Parliament
pensions on their satisfying certain conditions stated therein. The said
Section 8A has been amended from time to time and the rates of pension
originally indicated have been increased.
writ petitions challenge the constitutional validity of the said Section 8A and
they have been directed to be heard by a Constitution Bench.
attention is drawn by Mr. Prashant Bhushan, learned counsel for the petitioner
in W.P.(C) No. 984/1991, to the provisions of Articles 106 and 195 of the
Constitution. Article 106 reads as under:
Salaries and allowances of members.---- Members of either House of Parliament
shall be entitled to receive such salaries and allowances as may from time to
time be determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that respect is
so made, allowances at such rates and upon such conditions as were immediately
before the commencement of this Constitution applicable in the case of members
of the Constituent Assembly of the Dominion of India.
195 makes similar provision in respect of the Members of Legislative Assemblies
and Legislative Councils of the States. It is pointed out by Mr. Prashant Bhushan
that whereas legislators are thereby entitled to salaries and allowances, there
is no provision in regard to the payment of pension to them. The provisions of
these Articles are contrasted by learned counsel to the provisions of Articles
125 and 221. Article 125(2) says that Judges of the Supreme Court shall be
entitled to such privileges and allowances and to such rights in respect of
leave of absence and pension as may from time to time be determined. There is a
similar provision in regard to High Court Judges in Article 221. Our attention
is also drawn to Article 148 which makes reference to the pension of a
Comptroller and Auditor General. Learned counsels argument is that where
pension is to be paid to a constitutional functionary, the Constitution makes
specific provision and that, therefore, in not making such specific provision
in regard to Members of Parliament under Article 106, it must be assumed that
they are not entitled to receive pension.
counsel drew our attention to the judgment of this Court in been said that
pension is a term applied to periodic money payments to a person who retires at
a certain age, considered the age of disability, and it usually continues for
the rest of the natural life of the recipient. In the case of Members of
Parliament, it is submitted by learned counsel, they do not retire and they are
not always of an age of disability when they demit office.
was made by the petitioner in W.P.(C) No. 246/1993, appearing in person, to the
provisions of Article 14 and it was submitted that there was discrimination in favour
of Members of Parliament by giving them pension when, unlike Judges, they were
not subject to the process of impeachment.
learned Attorney General, appearing for the respondents, drew our attention to
Entries 73 and 97 of List I of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. Entry
73 empowers Parliament to legislate in respect of the salaries and allowances
of Members of Parliament. Entry 97 empowers Parliament to legislate in respect
of any matter not enumerated in List II or List III, that is, in the State and
Concurrent Lists. The learned Attorney General submitted that the payments
empowered under the said Section 8A were covered by the words salaries and
allowances under Entry 73 and that, in any event, they were covered by the
residuary Entry 97 of List I. He also submitted that Article 106 was an
enabling provision and could not be read as imposing a bar upon the receipt of
pensions by Members of Parliament.
issue before us is squarely one of competence, namely, the competence of
Parliament to enact the said Section 8A. We need not go into Entry 73 of List I
for we are in no doubt that such competence is conferred upon Parliament by the
residuary Entry 97 of List I, and there is no provision in Article 106 or
elsewhere that bars the payment of pension to Members of Parliament.
view, therefore, the writ petitions are devoid of merit and must be dismissed.
order as to costs.
Shah Mohammed Quadri) ......J.