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Report No. 58

Age of retirement of High Court Judge to be increased to 65 years

10.29. We recommend, in the first place, that the age of retirement of the High Court Judges should be raised from 62 to 65 years. This question has been argued over and over again, and we do not think it necessary to advance elaborate arguments in support of our recommendation. We may only add that, in its Fourteenth Report, the Law Commission1 had made a similar recommendation.

If the High Court Judge is normally appointed at the age of 45 to 50 years and is able to look forward to a career on the Bench for 15-20 years, that may, we venture to think, persuade some of the members of the Bar, who are inspired by the desire to serve the cause of the administration of justice, to accept the invitation of their Chief Justices to serve on the Bench. We do not apprehend that, if the age of retirement of High Court Judges is raised to 65, there would be difficulty in persuading eminent Judges of the High Court to move to the Supreme Court.

Appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court is regarded by all the members of the higher Judiciary as the highest prize, and the identity of the age of retirement of Judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court will certainly not act as a disincentive to the High Court Judges if they are called upon to join the Supreme Court. Incidentally, raising the age of retirement will mean that the vacancies will arise less frequently than at present. As the average age of appointment may be expected to be as at present a longer tenure automatically means less frequent vacancies.

1. 14th Report (Report of Judicial Administration).

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