Govt given two more months to settle suit by retired judges


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has given another two months for the government to look into the possibility of the proposed settlement in the suit filed by a group of 35 individuals, comprising former members of the judiciary and seven widows of former judges.

The suit was filed over the alleged failure by the government to fix an appropriate increase in the pension and benefits they received since 2015.

The retired judges include former Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, former Chief Judges of Malaya Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob and Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Nor, as well as former Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who is also former Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

They named the government, the prime minister, the Cabinet and the director-general of Public Service as the first to fourth defendants.

Lawyer Christopher Leong, representing the plaintiffs, said the respondents requested more time, that is three more months to get back to the plaintiffs on the without prejudice proposal for possible settlement.

"The suit was filed on Jan 24 this year and served on the respondents in February 2022; that is 10 to eight months have since elapsed. The court was agreeable to only provide two more months for the respondents, and the matter has been fixed for case management on Dec 7 at 2.30pm.

"The court also stated that in the event the matter is not settled by Dec 7, the court will give directions for the progress of the proceedings in court,” he said when contacted after the online case management before High Court judge Justice Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

In the suit, the plaintiffs seek a declaration that failure to fix through a government gazette an appropriate increment of more than 2% in their pension and other benefits pursuant to Section 15B (2) of the Judges' Remuneration Act 1971 (Act 45) had violated Articles 125 (7) and 125(9) of the Federal Constitution.

They are also seeking an order that the second or third defendant (prime minister and the Cabinet respectively) shall advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to fix a higher increment of more than 2% annually on the pension and other benefits given to them, effective July 1, 2015, pursuant to Section 15B(2) of Act 45.

The plaintiffs also said that pursuant to Section 15B of the Judges' Remuneration Act 1971, the pensions of retired judges and dependents of deceased judges were adjusted automatically based on the current salaries of the serving judges, which were reviewed in stages from time to time, as required under Articles 125(7) and 125(9) of the Federal Constitution. - Bernama

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