The Supreme on Wednesday sought the government's response to a plea by Lok Prahari, which has challenged the rules providing for lifetime pension to former members of and their spouses.

The bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar issued the notice as Lok Prahari told the that under the Constitution, could not have framed rules providing for pension to the former parliamentarians.

Besides the Centre, the notice has also been issued to the Secretary Generals of the and the Rajya Sabha as well as the Election Commission of India.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), too, has impleaded itself in the matter.

Appearing for the NGO, its General Secretary S.N. Shukla also contested the pension rules that provide for additional pension to the former lawmakers over and above what they were drawing in some other capacity.

The petitioner has sought to know the steps the has taken to put in place a permanent mechanism for the determination of salaries and allowances of members of Parliament, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, submitted in May 2006.

Describing the pension to former members of as "not mandated by the Constitution", Lok Prahari said that lifetime pension for former parliamentarians was in gross violation of the Article 106 of the Constitution.

Article 106 of the Constitution, which provides for the salaries and allowances of the members of Parliament, lays down: "Members of either House of shall be entitled to receive such salaries and allowances as may from time to time be determined by by law..."

The petitioner has contended that Article 106 talks about the existing members and not about former members.

The petitioner has approached the apex challenging the April 20, 2016, order of the Allahabad High Court's Lucknow bench which junked its plea, holding that it lacked merit.

Referring to Franklin Knight Lane, who had said that a "public office is not a job but an opportunity for doing something for the public", Shukla said that the existing scenario was a glaring example of how the public representatives had converted the position of member of Parliament, legislative assembly or the legislative council into an office of profit for life for themselves and their spouses.

The petitioner said that while a Governor does not have pension facility, a member of -- even for a day -- gets pension for the entire life.

Franklin Knight Lane was a Democratic politician and US Secretary of Interior from 1913 to 1920.


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