New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) The central government said on Friday that allowances and pensions are the rights of MPs and former MPs and Parliament has every right to decide on it.
“The rights and privileges of Parliament are sacrosanct,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said and urged Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to look into the matter.
Kumar’s remarks came after Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy raised the issue of Supreme Court’s notice to the Centre and the Election Commission regarding MPs’ allowances and pensions.
The issue, raised during Zero Hour, got support from other members across party lines.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the government’s response to a plea by NGO Lok Prahari, which has challenged the rules providing for lifetime pension to former Members of Parliament and their spouses.
The bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar issued the notice as Lok Prahari told the court that under the Constitution, Parliament could not have framed rules providing for pension to former parliamentarians.
Besides the Centre, the notice has also been issued to the Secretary Generals of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha as well as the Election Commission of India.