In a last push for the passage of a bill which seeks to increase the retirement age of High Court judges from 62 to 65 years, government has asked the Lok Sabha secretariat to bring up the legislation pending since December, 2011 for consideration and passage in this session.
The Winter session of Parliament - the last of the present Lok Sabha - will conclude on February 21. It leaves the government with only six sittings to pass the Constitutional amendment bill. If the bill fails to be passed in this session, it will lapse with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
On February 5, the Law Ministry had sent a notice to the Lok Sabha Secretary General to bring up the bill for consideration and passage.
The Constitution (114th Amendment) Bill, 2010 was taken up for discussion in Lok Sabha on December 28, 2011 amid pandemonium on Telangana issue. However, the discussions remained inconclusive.
On the same day, however, the lower house passed the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, which seeks to establish a credible and expedient mechanism for investigating individual complaints of misbehaviour or incapacity of a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court and to regulate the procedure for such investigation. If the retirement age of High Court judges is increased to 65, it will match up to the one existing for Supreme Court judges.
The measure will help around 639 judges of the 24 High Courts in the country.
Sources said though the Law Ministry is keen on pushing the legislation, various political parties will have to be taken into confidence as constitutional amendment is needed for the purpose. A constitutional amendment needs support of two-thirds of the members present and voting in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.