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Supreme Court reserves verdict on plea to scrap pensions of former MPs

Supreme Court reserves verdict on plea to scrap pensions of former MPs

In news:

The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on a plea seeking to scrap the lifelong pension to former members of Parliament.

Background:

The court was hearing a petition by the NGO Lok Prahari that said 82 per cent of the lawmakers were "crorepatis" and "the poor tax payers should not be made to bear the burden of their pension, including their family pension".

Attorney General K. Venugopal defended the grant of pension to former MPs saying their dignity has to be maintained. He also defended the provision of travelling allowance to them saying they had to travel to their constituencies.

Pension and family pension to Ex-MPs:

  • Article 106 of our Constitution gives Parliament the authority to decide the salaries and allowances of MPs.
  • From May 2009 (beginning of the 15th Lok Sabha), ex-MPs have received a pension of Rs 20,000 per month.
  • MPs who have served for more than 5 years receive an additional Rs 1,500 per month for every year they have been in Parliament in excess of 5 years.
  • Ex-MPs can travel free in AC First Class of any train when travelling alone, and in AC Second Class with a companion, both for free.
  • On the demise of an ex-MP, their spouse or dependent receives a family pension which is half of the pension to which the ex-MP was entitled.
  • Ex-MPs are also entitled to receive medical treatment under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). Lastly, they can borrow books from the Parliament library by paying a security deposit of Rs 500.

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