Selangor Journal
The High Court complex along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by BERNAMA

Pensioners’ lawsuit: Court suggests retired judges, govt to explore settlement

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — The High Court here today suggested for parties in a lawsuit filed by a group of 35 individuals, comprising former members of the judiciary and seven widows of former judges, over alleged failure by the government to fix appropriate increase in the pension and benefits they received since 2015, to be settled through the mediation process.

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, and 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 former judges, said Judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh had indicated for parties involved to explore the possibility of mediation.

“We informed the court that we are amenable to explore such possibility for mediation and federal counsel M. Kogilambigai told the court that she would take instructions (from the defendants) on the matter and get back to the court by the next case management date,” he told reporters after the case management today.

Leong said the judge also disclosed to the court that he is related to one of the plaintiffs in the suit (family’s relation) and sought the views of the parties involved.

However, the court was informed by the parties involved that they did not have any objection to it, he said, adding that the court fixed March 21 for further case management for parties to inform the status of mediation.

In the suit, filed last January 24, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that failure to fix through a Government Gazette an appropriate increment of more than two per cent in their pension and other benefits pursuant to Section 15B (2) of the Judges’ Remuneration Act 1971 (Act 45) has violated Articles 125 (7) and 125 (9) of the Federal Constitution.

The plaintiffs 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 two per cent 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 in 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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