SC agrees to hear plea by Patna HC Judge seeking Opening of GPF Account, Release of Salary

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the plea filed by a sitting judge of the Patna High Court seeking its intervention for opening a General Provident Fund (GPF) account and release of his salary.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud issued notice to the Centre and others, including the Bihar government, seeking their responses on the petition filed by Justice Rudra Prakash Mishra.

“We will issue notice,” the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, said.

Justice Mishra’s counsel urged the bench to pass an interim order to open a temporary GPF account of the petitioner.

The bench said it will hear the matter after two weeks.

“The petitioner is a sitting judge of the High Court of Judicature Patna, Bihar, who has been elevated as a judge of the High Court from superior judicial service of the state and is seeking the kind indulgence of this court inter alia for opening of his GPF Account, release of his salary etc,” said the plea, filed through advocate Prem Prakash.

It said, after Mishra’s elevation as a high court judge, he was not allotted a GPF account despite having submitted the relevant documents.

“Under a reasonable apprehension of being deprived of the GPF benefits, due to conundrum over the shift from NPS (New Pension Scheme) to GPF (General Provident Fund under the Old Pension Scheme) account, causing immense mental and financial harassment to the petitioner, the petitioner preferred not to take his salary from the month of November 2023 onwards,” the petition said.

Besides other prayers, the plea has sought a declaration from the apex court that the petitioner is entitled to subscribe to GPF account in terms of section 20 of the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954.

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