Cabinet approves Bill to raise HC judges retirement age

     The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the recommendation of increase in the retirement age of High Court judges from 62 to 65. The measure will help around 630 judges of the 21 High Courts in the country. According to sources though the Law Ministry is keen on introducing the legislation in the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament, various political parties will have to be taken into confidence as constitutional amendment is needed for the purpose. A constitutional amendment needs the support of two-thirds of the members in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Law Minister M Veerappa Moily favours a consensus to emerge before moving the amendment, sources said. The last time the retirement age of High Court judges was increased was in 1963. The age was then increased from 60 to the present 62 years. The proposal was first mooted by then Law Minister H R Bhardwaj in April 2008. He had initiated discussion with the opposition on the issue, but lack of political consensus led to the issue being put on the backburner. At present, there are 270 vacancies for judges in the High Court.

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