The Kerala government has notified an amendment to the Kerala High Court Services (Determination of Retirement Age) Act, 2008, to increase the age of retirement of the staff of the High Court.
The amendment called the Kerala High Court Services (Determination of Retirement Age) Amendment Act, 2022, was notified on January 6 after the Bill that was passed by the Legislative Assembly received the assent of the Governor.
The amendment has raised the age of retirement for High Court staff who were appointed before April 2013 from 55 to 56 years. The age of retirement of those who were appointed after April 1, 2013 has been raised from 55 to 60 years.
Section 2 of the 2008 Act has been amended and the words in Section 2 that says “shall take effect from the afternoon of the last day of the month in which he attains the age of 55 years” have been substituted with the following:
"who are appointed before the 1st day of April, 2013 shall take effect from the afternoon of the last day of the month in which she or he attains the age of 56 years and those who are appointed on or after the 1st day of April, 2013 and who is a member of the National Pension System shall take effect from the afternoon of the last day of the month in which she or he attains the age of 60 years or as the case may be, decided by the Government from time to time”
Pertinently, the Amendment Act of 2022 will have retrospective application with effect from April 24, 2009.
Recently, a single-judge of the High Court had directed the State government to expeditiously consider the proposal made in a report by a committee of judges to increase the retirement age of the staff of the High Court from 56 to 58 years.
The direction was passed on a plea moved by a staff member of the High Court in this regard.
The Court was informed that the committee of judges had recommended the enhancement of the retirement age in order to retain experienced staff who can help it transition to a 'Model Digital Court', the first of its kind in the country.
During the hearing in December 2022, the Government Pleader had assured the Court that the proposal is under the active consideration of the government and that a decision would be taken on the same without any inordinate delay.