The Allahabad High Court has asked the Centre to consider a suggestion that there should be no retirement age for judges.
Adopting the US model on retirement of judges may not be violative of the Constitution, the Lucknow Bench of the High Court observed on July 3.
The Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which sought direction to the Government to reconsider the policy on the retirement issue.
The PIL sought a constitutional amendment for introducing the 'Judge for Life' concept prevalent in the US.
The HC asked the Centre to reply within two weeks.
"It may not appear to be an act of transgressing the constitutional scheme if the age limit for retirement of judges of the Supreme Court of the United States of America is adopted in our country," the Bench comprising Justices Uma Nath Singh and Devendra Kumar Arora said.
It is not understandable as to how the age limit for the retirement of presiding officers and members of tribunals-who are subject to the powers of superintendence as also the jurisdiction of High Courts-can be higher than that of the judges of High Courts, the Bench observed.
The petitioner Ashok Pandey, a lawyer, also sought direction to call retired judges, except retired Chief Justices, to serve in High Courts and the Supreme Court as ad-hoc judges for which there is no provision in the Constitution at present.
The High Court, on the request of the Assistant Solicitor General, granted two weeks' time to the Centre to file a counter affidavit. A rejoinder, if any, may be filed within a week thereafter. The court has listed the matter for hearing on July 28.
In the United Kingdom, the age limit for retirement of judges has been fixed at 70, if first appointed to a judicial office after March 31, 1995, or at 75 otherwise, the court observed.
The Judges of the US Supreme Court hold office until good behaviour, meaning they may serve for the remainder of their life although they can voluntarily resign or retire, it said.