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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Constitutional validity of certain Amendments1 made to the Salaries, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”). - LOK PRAHARI, THROUGH ITS GENERAL SECRETARY S.N. SHUKLA & ANOTHER - Versus - UNION OF INDIA THROUGH ITS SECRETARY & OTHERS

Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3798 OF 2018
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.9584 of 2017)
LOK PRAHARI, THROUGH ITS
GENERAL SECRETARY S.N. SHUKLA & ANOTHER ... Appellants
             Versus
UNION OF INDIA
THROUGH ITS SECRETARY & OTHERS     ... Respondents
J U D G M E N T
Chelameswar, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. This appeal arises out of a Writ Petition that challenged the
Constitutional   validity   of   certain   Amendments1
  made   to   the
Salaries, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament Act,
1954   (hereinafter   referred   to   as   “the   Act”).     The   provisions
challenged relate to the payment of pension and other facilities to
1 By the Amendment Act 2003, Act 9 of 2004, Amending Act No. 40 of 2006 and Amending Act 37 of 2010.
1
members of Parliament (hereinafter referred to as “MPs”) and exmembers
of Parliament (hereinafter referred to as “ex­MPs”), and
their   spouses/companions/dependents   (collectively   hereafter
referred   to   as   “ASSOCIATES”).     The   1st  Appellant   sought   the
following   prayers,  inter   alia,   in   the   Writ   Petition   before   the
Allahabad High Court:
1. “Declare that the provisions of various amending Acts to Act
30 of 1954, and particularly those of the Amending Act 9 of
2004, and Amending Act No. 40 of 2006 and Amending Act
37   of   2010,   providing   for   pension/family   pension   to   exMPs/dependents,
travel facilities to spouse and other nonmembers,
(in addition to the companion) and ex­MPs, as well
as continuation of facilities, regarding unutilized quotas of
telephone calls electricity and water units are ultra vires of
the Constitution and the original Act.
2. Issue a mandamus to the opposite parties 1 to 4 to stop
forthwith   payment   of   pension/family   pension   to   exMPs/dependents,
and provision of other facilities in 1 above.
3. Order recovery of illegal pension/family pension from the
recipients thereof.”
3. The   High   Court   dismissed   the   writ   petition   negating   all
contentions raised by the 1st  Appellant herein, holding that the
issue is no longer res integra in view of the Judgment in Common
Cause, A Registered Society v. Union of India2
(hereafter referred
to as “Common Cause”) wherein this Court held that Parliament is
2
(2002) 1 SCC 88
2
competent to legislate on pensions for ex­MPs and as a corollary it
has   the  power to  prescribe  any  condition  subject  to  which   the
pension may be paid. We are in total agreement with the conclusion
of the High Court on the question of legislative competence.
4. The question which remains to be answered is whether any of
the impugned amendments which create various rights in favour of
ex­MPs & their ASSOCIATES and certain other facilities to MPs are
violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, 1950 as being
discriminatory. It was the case of the Appellant that the Common
Cause case is silent in this respect. However, the High Court took
the view that the attack on Article 14 is foreclosed by  Common
Cause.
5. It is argued before us that  Common Cause  took note of the
Petitioner’s argument therein3
 that the Act is violative of Article 14,
however, there was neither any discussion on the issue nor any
binding decision on the question.4
   Therefore, it is submitted that
3
 “5. Reference was made by the Petitioner in WP (C) No. 246 of 1993, appearing in person, to the provisions of
Article 14 and it was submitted that there was discrimination in favor of Members of Parliament by giving them
pension when, unlike Judges, they were not subject to the process of impeachment.”
4
“7. The issue before us is squarely one of competence, namely, the competence of Parliament to enact the said
Section 8-A. 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
3
the   High   Court   erred   in   concluding   that   the   challenge   to   the
impugned provisions is impermissible.   We propose to limit our
examination   in   the   present   case   to   the   question   of   the
constitutionality   of   various   Amendments   brought   after   the
Common Cause case on grounds other than legislative competence.
6. To answer the same, we may start with the analysis of the
various   provisions   of   the   Constitution   creating   various
constitutional offices because some of these provisions contemplate
the   possibility   of   the   payment   of   pension   in   respect   to   certain
Constitutional   offices,   while   no   express   reference   is   made   with
regard to various other offices created by the Constitution.
7. Article 59(3)5
  specifies that the President shall be entitled to
such   ‘emoluments,   allowances   and   privileges   as   may   be   determined   by
Parliament   by   law’ while Article 158(3)  specifies the  same for  the
Governor. Neither of the Articles make any reference to the payment
of pension. However, Section 2 of the President’s Emoluments and
payment of pension to Members of Parliament.”
5Article 59(3). Conditions of President’s office.- The President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use
of his official residence and shall be also entitled to such emoluments, allowances, and privileges as may be
determined by Parliament by law and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments, allowances and
privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule.
4
Pension Act, 1951 provides for the payment of pension and other
facilities to the retiring President.6
8. Article   75(6)7
  and   Article   164(5)   respectively   speak   of   the
salaries and allowances of Ministers, which Parliament and the
State Legislature may determine by law.
9. Articles 978
 and 1869
 provide for the payment of ‘salaries and
allowances’   of   the   Chairman   and   Deputy   Chairman   and   the
Speaker   and   the   Deputy   Speaker   of   Parliament   and   State
Legislatures.   The   Vice­President's   Pension   Act,   1997   has   an
6 Section 2. (1) Pension to retiring Presidents. There shall be paid to every person who ceases to hold office as
President, either by the expiration of his term of office or by resignation of his office, a pension of 6 one lakh twenty
thousand rupees per annum for the remainder of his life. [ (2) Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf,
every such person shall, for the remainder of his life, be entitled(a)
to the use of a furnished residence (including its maintenance), without payment of rent, a telephone and
a motor- car, free of charge or to such car allowance as may be specified in the rules-,
(b) to secretarial staff consisting of a Private Secretary, a Personal Assistant and a Peon, and office expenses
the total expenditure on which shall not exceed twelve thousand rupees per annum;
(c) to medical attendance and treatment free of charge.
(d) to travel anywhere in India, accompanied by one person, by 9 highest class by air, rail or steamer.
Explanation.-- For the purposes of this sub- section" residence" shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Salaries
and allowances of Ministers Act, 1952 ]
7Article 75. Other Provisions as to Ministers- (6) The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as
Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the
Second Schedule.
8Article 97. Salaries and allowances of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman and the Speaker and Deputy
Speaker.- There shall be paid to the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Council of States, and to the Speaker
and the Deputy Speaker of the House of the People, such salaries and allowances as may be respectively fixed by
Parliament by law and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such salaries and allowances as are specified in the
Second Schedule.
9Article 186. Salaries and Allowances of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and the Chairman and Deputy
Chairman.- There shall be paid to the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and to the
Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council, such salaries and allowances as may be respectively
fixed by the Legislature of the State by law and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such salaries and
allowances as are specified in the Second Schedule.
5
identical provision with respect to the payment of pension and post
retirement facilities as are provided to the President.10
10. Article 106 of the Constitution stipulates that MPs shall be
entitled to receive ‘salaries and allowances’ to be determined by
Parliament through legislation.11  There is no express reference to
the payment of pension.
11. On the other hand, the provisos to Article 125(2)12 and Article
221(2)13 respectively make an express reference to the payment of
pension to judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
10 Section 2. Pension to retiring Vice-Presidents.—(1) There shall be paid to every person who ceases to hold
office as Vice-President, either by the expiration of his term of office or by resignation of his office, a Pension 1 [at
the rate of fifty per cent of the salary of the Vice-President] per month, for the remainder of his life
Provided that such person shall not be entitled to receive any pension during the period he holds the office
of the Prime Minister, a Minister or any other office or becomes a Member of Parliament and is in receipt of salary
and allowances which are defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Consolidated Fund of a State.
(1A) The spouse of a person who dies —
(a) while holding the office of Vice-President, or
(b) after ceasing to hold office as Vice-President either by the expiration of
his term of office or by resignation of his office, shall be paid a family pension at the rate of fifty per cent
of pension as is admissible to a retiring Vice-President, for the remainder of her life.
11Article 106.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
12Article 125. Salaries, etc., of Judges.- (2) Every Judge 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 by or under law made
by Parliament and, until so determined, to such privileges, allowances and rights as are specified in the Second
Schedule:
Provided that neither the privileges or the allowances of a Judge nor his rights in respect of leave of
absence or pension shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
13Article 221. Salaries, etc., of Judges.- (2) Every Judge shall be entitled to such allowances and to such rights in
respect of leave of absence and pension as may from time to time be determined by or under law made by
Parliament and, until so determined, to such allowances and rights as are specified in the Second Schedule:
Provided that neither the allowances of a Judge nor his rights in respect of leave of absence or pension shall
be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
6
12. Article 148(3)14  provides that salary and other conditions of
service of the Comptroller and Auditor­General shall be as may be
determined by Parliament by law. The proviso thereto contains a
reference   to   the   payment   of   pension.   The   Comptroller   and
Auditor­General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act,
1971 contains various provisions for the payment of pension on
his/her demission of office.15
13. Article   32216  declares   that   the   expenses   of   Public   Service
Commissions shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India
and   such   expenses   include   “salaries,   allowances   and   pensions”
payable to or in respect of the members or staff of the Commission.
14Article 148. Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.- (3). The salary and other conditions of service of the
Comptroller and Auditor-General shall be such as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until they are so
determined, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule:
Provided that neither the salary of a Comptroller and Auditor-General nor his rights in respect of leave of
absence, pension or age of retirement shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
15Section 6. Pension.- A person who demits office as the Comptroller and Auditor-General by resignation shall, on
such demission, be eligible to a pension at the rate of two thousand rupees per annum for each completed year of his
service as the Comptroller and Auditor-General:
Provided that in the case of a person referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (3), the aggregate amount
of pension admissible under this sub-section together with the amount of pension including the commuted portion, if
any, of his pension, and the pension equivalent of the retirement gratuity if any which may have been admissible to
him under the rules for the time being applicable to the Service to which he belonged immediately before he
assumed office as the Comptroller and Auditor-General, shall not exceed fifteen thousand rupees per annum or the
higher pension referred to in proviso to sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), as the case may be.
16Article 322. Expenses of Public Service Commissions
The expenses of the Union or a State Public Service Commission, including any salaries, allowances and
pensions payable to or in respect of the members or staff of the Commission, shall be charged on the Consolidated
Fund of India or, as the case may be, the Consolidated Fund of the State.
7
14. Article 324(5)17 stipulates that “conditions of service and tenure of
office of the Election Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule
determine.” Though the Constitution is silent in regard to payment of
pension to the Election Commissioners, Section 6 in the Election
Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and
Transaction of Business) Act, 1991 makes provision for payment of
pension to Election Commissioners which is equal to the pension
payable to a Supreme Court Judge.18
15. From the Constitutional scheme it can be seen that no express
mandate exists for the payment of pension with respect to any one
of   the   Constitutional   offices.   However,   Articles   dealing   with   the
Judges   of   the   Supreme   Court   and   the   High   Courts   and   the
Comptroller and Auditor­General stipulate that pensions payable
17Article 324. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission
(5) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office
of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule
determine:
Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner
and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election
Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment:
Provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed
from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
18Section 6. Pension payable to Election Commissioners.-
(2) Where the Chief Election Commissioner [or an Election Commissioner] demits office [whether in any
manner specified in [sub-section (3)] or by resignation], he shall, on such demission be entitled to
(a) a pension which is equal to the pension payable to a Judge of the Supreme Court in accordance with the
provisions of Part III of the Schedule to the Supreme Court Judges (Conditions of Service) Act, 1958, as amended
from time to time; and
(b) such pension (including commutation of pension), family pension and gratuity as are admissible to a
Judge of the Supreme Court under the said Act and the Rules made thereunder, as amended from time to time…”
8
may not be varied during their tenure. The implication being that if
the law dealing with the service conditions of any of the incumbents
of any one of the said offices at the time of their appointment
provides for the payment of pension, such a provision of law cannot
be varied to the detriment of the incumbent.
16. The provisions under challenge fall under two categories (i)
provisions which confer the right of free travel etc. to the MPs and
their ASSOCIATES; and (ii) provisions which confer the benefit of
pension and the right of free travel etc. to the ex­MPs and their
ASSOCIATES.
THE PROVISIONS UNDER CHALLENGE:
17.  Section 8A19 of the Act grants pensions to (i) ex­MPs, and (ii)
upon their death, the pension is given to their respective spouses.
Section 8AC20 provides family pension to the spouse of such MPs on
the death of the MP.  It is pertinent to mention here that Section 8A
19 Section 8A. (1) With effect from the 18th day of May, 2009, there shall be paid a pension of twenty thousand
rupees per mensem to every person who has served for any period as a Member of the Provisional Parliament or
either House of Parliament
Provided that where a person has served as a member of the Provisional Parliament or either House of
Parliament for a period exceeding five years, there shall be paid to him an additional pension of thousand five
hundred rupees per mensem for every year served in excess of five years
Explanation. – For the purpose of this sub-section “Provisional Parliament” shall include the body which
functioned as the Constituent Assembly of the Dominion of Indian immediately before the commencement of the
Constitution
20 Inserted by Act 40 of 2006 – effective from 15-9-2006
9
as originally enacted provided that an MP, to be eligible for Pension
must have completed four years of tenure in Parliament. But this
was done away with retrospective effect by the Amendment Act No.9
of 2004.
Section 6B(1)21  of the Act confers a right to all the MPs for
unlimited travel by train along with spouse/companion from any
place in India to any other place in India. Section 6B(2)22 provides
up to 8 air journeys in a year from the MP’s usual place of residence
to Delhi and back when Parliament is in Session and also provides
the spouse of the MP unlimited train travel by First Class AC at any
time   during   the   year.     Section   8AA23  confers   a   right   of   travel
facilities to the ex­MPs and their ASSOCIATES. It provides for free
AC­II Tier pass for one person to accompany an ex­MP in all train
journeys   and   unlimited   free   travel   by   train   along   with
spouse/companion from any place in India to any other place in
India.
18. The provisions are impugned on the following grounds:
21 Substituted by Act 16 of 1999
22 Inserted by Act 37 of 2010 – effective from 1-10-2010
23 Substituted by Act 9 of 2004 – effective from 15-9-2006
10
(i) the contrast in the language displayed in the various Articles
of   the   Constitution   dealing   with   the   salaries   and   other
allowances   payable   to   the   various   Constitutional   office
holders should necessarily lead to the conclusion that the
Constitution does not permit the payment of pension and
other benefits to MPs and ex­MPs;
(ii) the   framers   of   the   Constitution   specifically   denied
pensionary benefits to the MPs and therefore giving of any
POST   RETIREMENT   BENEFITS   to   ex­MPs   and   their
ASSOCIATES   would   amount   to   treating   those   who   were
denied this constitutional right to pension at par with those
constitutional offices whose pension was expressly protected.
And to treat them on the same footing would result in a
violation of the right to equality;
(iii) the   impugned   provisions   are   irrational24  and   arbitrary
because the grant of pension to all ex­MPs without taking
into   consideration   their   respective   tenure   and   economic
conditions goes against public interest25; and
(iv) looked at from the point of view of the taxpayers and crores
of   poor   and   needy   people   of   the   country,   the   impugned
provisions are an unfair and unjust exercise of the legislative
authority of the Parliament.26
19. We  shall   now  examine   the  core  submission  ­  whether  the
silence  in   Article  106  operates  as  a   prohibition   for  payment   of
pension to the former MPs?
20. The   submissions   of   the   Appellants   proceed   on   the   wrong
assumption that certain provisions of the Constitution mandate the
payment of pension to persons who hold constitutional offices like
the Judges of this Court.  We have already examined the language
24 Written Submissions of Petitioner in WP before the Allahabad HC
25 Id.
26 Ground D of the Writ Petition
11
of the relevant provisions of the Constitution. We are of the opinion
that,   on   a   true   and   proper   construction   of   the   text   of   those
provisions, they do not mandate the payment of pension.  They only
protect the pension if payable under the relevant law applicable on
the date of appointment of a person to any one of those offices by
declaring   that   such   a   condition   could   not   be   altered   to   the
detriment of a person subsequent to his appointment. 
However,   the   constitutional   obligation   to   pay   pension   to
persons who hold such offices may arise by implication having
regard to the overall scheme of the Constitution relevant to those
offices.  The need to secure the independence of the holders of those
offices by assuring them that either the legislature or the executive
will not be able to deprive them of the financial resources necessary
to keep them away from impecuniousness, irrespective of the fact
that a decision taken by the incumbents of each of those offices in
discharge of the official responsibilities is acceptable or not either to
the legislature or the executive.   We must hasten to add that we
must not be understood to be making any final declaration of law in
this regard. 
12
The purpose of this analysis is limited only to demonstrate
that the Appellants starts on a wrong premise in assuming that the
text of the Constitution contains express provisions mandating the
payment   of   pension   in   connection   with   certain   constitutional
offices. 
21. The fact that there are express references to the payment of
pension in the Constitution for certain Constitutional functionaries
and not for others, in our opinion does not lead to the conclusion
that   the   Constitution   by   its   silence   prohibits   the   payment   of
pension to those constitutional functionaries. Each Constitutional
office holder functions in accordance with the powers and duties
entrusted to it either by the Constitution or the laws relevant to
their powers and duties. The framers of the Constitution believed
that certain offices required a higher degree of protection, having
regard to the greater degree of independence expected of the holders
of their offices. The framers knew history and the attempts of the
men in power to subjugate the holders of such offices. Safeguards,
therefore, were provided in respect of the various aspects of the
tenure and other conditions of service relevant for their offices.
13
When   it   comes   to   MPs,   however,   such   a   higher   degree   of
constitutional protection is not obviously required as the authority
to make laws rests only with them.
22.  The terms and conditions subject to which a person is either
appointed or elected to occupy the constitutional office is a matter
of   policy   choice.   The   appropriate   legislature   would   be   the
constitutionally designated authority to determine those conditions.
It is too well settled in constitutional law that the authority of
legislature to make a policy choice is only circumscribed by the
limitations   imposed   by   the   Constitution,   either   by   an   express
provision or by a necessary implication arising out of the scheme of
the Constitution.   It is a well established principle commencing
from  McCulloch’s  case27  and followed by a long line of judicial
pronouncements28  that   whatever   is   not   prohibited   by   the
Constitution is permissible for the legislature.
27 McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 425-437, 4 L.Ed. 579 (1819):
 “But we think the sound construction of the Constitution must allow to the national legislature that
discretion with respect to the means by which the powers it confers are to be carried into execution which will
enable that body to perform the high duties assigned to it in the manner most beneficial to the people. Let the
end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are
plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are
Constitutional.”
28 See State of Kerala v. N.M. Thomas, (1976) 2 SCC 310, para 107; see also State of Karnataka v. Union of India,
(1977) 4 SCC 608, para 69
14
23.   Further   if   we   were   to   accept   the   argument   that   those
Constitutional functionaries who are entitled to pension by the text
of the Constitution form a distinct class exclusively entitled to the
payment   of   pension   the   result   would   be   that   the   CAG,   the
Chairman   and   Deputy   Chairman   of   the   Parliament   or   State
Legislature,   and   Ministers   of   the   Centre   and   State   would   be
disentitled to pension.
24. Another argument advanced by the Appellants is that pension
is payable to an employee of State after his superannuation.  Since
MPs are not employees of State, they are not entitled for pension
nor the Parliament is competent to provide payment of pension to
the   ex­MPs.   In   our   opinion,   there   is   a   fallacy   in   the   above
submission, insofar as it assures that pension is only payable to
former employees of State and nobody else.   Such a submission
emanates from the fact that certain payments made to the former
employees of State are called pensions and the misconception of the
Appellants   that   the   expression   ‘pension’   can   only   have   one
meaning. There are various other categories of payments made by
15
State which are called ‘pensions’, such as, Old Age Pension, Widow
Pension, and Disability Pension etc.
25. The appellants have relied upon the decision in Alagaapuram
R. Mohanraj & Others v. Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly,29 to
argue that the activity of MPs is not an “occupation” contemplated
by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and, therefore, no
pension can be paid to ex­MPs or their ASSOCIATES.
26. In our opinion, this argument is only to be rejected, because it
once again is premised on the belief that the expression ‘pension’
has only one connotation in law. The question before this Court in
Alagaapuram   R.   Mohanraj  was   whether   a   Member   of   the
Legislative   Assembly   is   carrying   on   any   occupation   within   the
meaning of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.   The fact
that this Court held that this is not an occupation under Article
19(1)(g) need not necessarily mean that the Parliament is prohibited
from making payment of such allowances to MPs if it considers it
appropriate having regard to various relevant factors.
29 (2016) 6 SCC 82.
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27. The expression “allowances” of MPs occurring under Entry 73
of List­I of the Seventh Schedule,30 in our opinion, is wide enough to
cover the payment of “pension” and the other benefits covered by
the impugned provisions to MPs or ex­MPs.   Even otherwise the
authority of Parliament under Entry 97 of List­I31 is wide enough to
cover the impugned legislation as held by Common Cause.
28.  In   this   context,   we   may   recall   the   remarks   made   by   two
eminent members of the Constituent Assembly, namely Dr. B.R.
Ambedkar   and   Shri   K.T.   Shah   to   illustrate   the   fallacy   of   the
Appellants’ understanding.
29. Dr. Ambedkar, while debating the need to provide pensionary
benefit to the President of India, threw some light on the question:
whether   the   Constituent   Assembly   sought   to   exclude   post
retirement benefits to Members of Parliament:
“Therefore, in the form in which the amendment is moved, I do not
think that it is a practical proposition for anyone to accept. But
there is no doubt about the general view that he has expressed,
that  after a certain period of service in Parliament, Members,
30 Entry 73 of List-I of the Constitution of India
“Salaries and allowances of members of Parliament, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the
Council of States and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of the People.”
31 Entry 97 of List-I of the Constitution of India
“Any other matter not enumerated in List II or List III including any tax not mentioned in either of
those Lists.”
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including   the   President,   ought   to   be   entitled   to   some   sort   of
pension, and I think it is a laudable idea which has been given
effect to in the British Parliament, and I have no doubt that our
future Parliament will bear this fact in mind.”32
[emphasis supplied]
30. In  debating  whether  it was  necessary  to  make an express
provision for the payment of pension to Governors after they demit
office, Shri Shah observed:
“The object of providing such security for the persons who have
risen to this high level is the same as that which now secures to
every workman in civilized nations an old­age pension, a pension
or   super­annuation   allowance,   which   would   be   calculated   to
suffice to maintain him in the standard of life to which he was
accustomed while at work. A pension is deferred pay, not paid to
the worker while at work; and the analogy will hold here also.
This   also   is   a   type  of  work­perhaps   the  highest  of   its  kindwhich
should not go unprovided for altogether by the State for
the rest of the period on earth of the Parties who have served so
eminently the State.”33
 
[emphasis supplied]
31. We are of the view that these questions are in the orbit of the
wisdom   of   the   Parliament   in   choosing/changing   the   legislative
policy whether the various benefits created under the impugned
provisions are rational having regard to the affluent financial status
of some of the MPs or the poverty of the millions of the population
etc. These are not justiciable issues. In this context, we may refer to
32 Constituent Assembly of India Debates, Vol. VII - Debate on Draft Article 48, 27th December 1948
33 Constituent Assembly of India Debates, Vol. VIII - Debate on Draft Article 135A, 31st May, 1949
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the principle laid down by this Court in  Dr.   P.   Nalla   Thampy
Terah v. Union of India & Others34:
“If the provisions of the law violate the Constitution, they have to
be struck down. We cannot, however, negate a law on the ground
that we do not approve of the policy which underlies it. Can the
Court, for example, strike down Rule 90 on the ground that the
limit of rupees one lakh is too high in the Indian context? We may
have our own preferences and perceptions but, they cannot be
used for invalidating laws.”
32. An   I.A.   was   filed   in   this   appeal,   which   is   required   to   be
disposed   of.   It   was   from   Respondent   No.   5,   the   Election
Commission of India, which has sought to be deleted from the array
of parties.   It is stated that neither is any relief sought from them
nor is any directive prayed for from Respondent No.5 in this appeal,
as this is a purely constitutional challenge.
I.A. is allowed.   Respondent No. 5 stands deleted from the
array of parties.
34 (1985) Supp SCC 189.
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33. In view of the foregoing, the appeal stands dismissed, with no
order as to costs.
….....................................J.
                                            (J. CHELAMESWAR)
…......................................J.
                       (SANJAY KISHAN KAUL)
New Delhi;
April 16, 2018.
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