A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Indore Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking changes to the rule relating to a higher pension to the MLAs, MPs and ministers in the country.
The PIL, filed through Advocate Purva Jain, states that if an MLA becomes an MP after holding Assembly post then he gets the salary and allowance of both MLA and MP. Similarly, on being elected as a Rajya Sabha MP and becoming a Union Minister, the minister gets the salary and allowance and pension of both MLA and MP.
Government officials and employees get the same pension and leaders are entitled to more than one pension even if they become MLAs or MPs for a day. If there is only one pension from a peon to a Supreme Court judge in the country, then why is there a rule to give more than one pension to MPs, MLAs and Ministers, the PIL asked.
The petitioner said the right to equality as laid down by the Constitution should be followed. Guidelines should also be made for pension of public representatives, like government servants. Tenure of at least five years should be made compulsory. The minister, MP and MLA should get the pension of the post they hold in the end, and they should not be entitled to any pension while holding government posts as Minister or on Board of Corporations, since the government has stopped pension of government employees appointed after March 2005, claimed the petitioner.
Further, the petition demanded that the Court should direct the government to fix the salary and pension of MP-MLAs. For this, a committee or board should be created which has complete record of every MLA and MP in the country so that he or she cannot get salary or more than one pension benefit anywhere in the country. Only the leader who has completed at least five years of tenure should be eligible for pension.
In the petition it was pointed out that earlier, in the case of MPs, it was the rule that anyone who completed a 4-year term will be eligible for pension, but in 2004, the Central Government amended it and made a provision that one who becomes an MP even for one day will be entitled to pension.
The Division Bench of Justice Rohit Arya and Justice Shailendra Shukla after hearing the preliminary arguments, has ordered the hearing of the petition in the regular bench of the High Court.