Justice V.S. Dave President vs Kusumjit Sidhu [All SC 2018 April]

Keywords : Medical reimbursement

The conditions of service of Hon’ble Judges of the High Court including the Hon’ble Chief Justices being uniform all over the country it is highly desirable that the system of reimbursement of medical expenses is also uniform.

Order Dared:  18 April, 2018

ITEM NO. 12 COURT NO.3  SECTION X

S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

I.A. NO.11 OF 2017 WITH
I.A.NO. 53528 OF 2017 WITH
I.A. NO. 27753 OF 2018 IN I.A. NO.11/2017
AND
I.A. NO. 28769 OF 2018 IN I.A. NO.11/2017
IN
CONTEMPT PETITION (C) NOS. 425-426/2015
IN
WRIT PETITION (C) NOS. 523 & 524 OF 2002

JUSTICE V.S. DAVE PRESIDENT, THE ASSOCIATION OF RETD. JUDGES OF
SUPREME COURT AND HIGH COURTS PETITIONER(S)

VERSUS

KUSUMJIT SIDHU & ORS. RESPONDENT(S)

Date : 18-04-2018 These matters were called on for hearing today.

CORAM :
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RANJAN GOGOI
HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE R. BANUMATHI

 Advocates for parties: (s) Mr. P.H. Parekh, Sr. Adv. [See below]

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following

O R D E R

The present exercise is directed towards bringing into effect parity in the matter of reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by retired Chief Justices/retired Judges of High Courts.

At present, as it appears from the report submitted by Shri P.H. Parekh, learned Amicus Curiae, there is divergence in the practice and procedure followed while sanctioning and processing medical reimbursement claims. The conditions of service of Hon’ble Judges of the High Court including the Hon’ble Chief Justices being uniform all over the country it is highly desirable that the system of reimbursement of medical expenses is also uniform.

Shri P.H. Parekh, learned Amicus Curiae in a written note circulated in Court today had made the following suggestions which, according to him, may bring about such uniformity.

“(a) the Retired Judges of High Court and their family would be entitled to reimbursement of the medical expenses on prescription of government doctors/hospitals or registered medical practitioners/private hospitals;

(b) The sanctioning authority will be the Registrar General of the concerned High Court who will exercise the power with the prior approval of the Chief Justice of High Court or his nominee;

(c) The sanctioning authority will be the Registrar General with the approval of the Chief Justice of High Court or his nominee.

(d) The extent of the benefit which the Retired Judges will be entitled to would be the same as is available to a sitting Judges of the High Courts.” Over and above Shri Parekh has suggested the following:

“(ii) All State Governments should extend medical facilities to retired judges of High Courts and their family members throughout the country uniformly.
(iii) There should not be any need to seek prior approval from the State Government before taking treatment in a private hospital or a non CGHS empanelled hospital.
(iv) The retired judges and their family members should be allowed medical reimbursement for treatment taken in any State and the same should not be confined to the State where the Retired Judge is residing. The medical bills in such cases should be submitted to the Registrar General of the concerned High Court from where the Judge retired.
(v) The State Governments may consider introducing cashless medical facility in hospitals/nursing homes wherever possible for the retired judges and their family members.” We are of the tentative view that the medical reimbursement of a retired Chief Justice and/or a retired judge of a High Court should be reimbursement of all medical expenses including hospital charges which a retired Chief Justice and/or a retired Judge of a High Court may have had to incur in connection with the medical treatment of himself and/or his/her dependent family members. Except for certain inadmissible items of expenditure, on which there can be no dispute, such reimbursement should extend to all items of expenditure including hospital charges. There is also a need to expedite the system/process of reimbursement which can be achieved if the power of sanctioning medical reimbursement is vested in the Hon’ble Chief Justice of a High Court who may, of course, delegate the same to his nominee(s)/assignee(s).
As the practice in vogue is divergent and any order in this regard may have some financial implications in respect of some of the States/Union Territories we are of the view that all the States and Union Territories should be heard on the aforesaid aspect of the matter, particularly, on the suggestions offered by Shri P.H. Parekh, learned Amicus Curiae which have been extracted above.

Coincidently, we may mention that full reimbursement of all medical expenses, except inadmissible items, including hospital charges (private hospitals included) are fully reimbursable to a sitting and retired Hon’ble Judge of the Supreme Court. The sanctioning authority so far as the medical reimbursement of a sitting and retired Hon’ble Judge of the Supreme Court is the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India who has delegated the power to other Hon’ble sitting judges of this Court. In the event the States concerned would like to examine the policy and procedure in vogue in the Supreme Court the same would be available on the website of the Supreme Court which can be easily accessed. This may enable the States to offer their views in the matter, if required, by filing affidavit(s) of the Competent Authority.

Keeping in mind the nature of the decision that the States would be required to adopt in the light of what has been indicated in the present order we fix the matter for filing of response/responses of all the States and the Union Territories on or before 10th July, 2018.

The matter will now be heard on 24th July, 2018 at 2.00 p.m. for further orders.

[VINOD LAKHINA] [ASHA SONI]

AR-cum-PS BRANCH OFFICER

____________________

Mr. Sumit Goel, Adv.
Mr. Kshtrashal Raj, Adv.
Mr. Akash Jindal, Adv.
Mr. Abhiram Naik, Adv.
M/S. Parekh & Co., AOR

HC of Calcutta Mr. Jaideep Gupta, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Kunal Chatterjei, AOR
Ms. Maitrayee Banerjee, Adv.
Mr. Saurav Gupta, Adv.

Delhi HC Mr. A.D.N. Rao, Adv.
Mr. Annam Venkatesh, Adv.
Mr. Sudipto Sircar, Adv.
Ms. Tulika Chikker, Adv.
Mr. Rahul Mishra, Adv.

HC Orissa Mr. Sibo Shankar Mishra, Adv.
Mr. Niranjan Sahu, Adv.

HC Uttarakhand Mr. Mukesh K. Giri, AAG

State of Telangana Mr. S. Udaya Kumar Sagar, Adv.
Mr. Mrityunjai Singh, Adv.

Mr. Anirudh Wadhwa, Adv.
Mr. Atul Shankar Vinod, Adv.
Mr. Vikas Pathak, Adv.
Mr. M. P. Vinod, AOR

Mr. Parijat Sinha, AOR

Ms. Radhika Gautam, AOR

State of H.P. Mr. D.K. Thakur, AAG, HP
Mr. Varinder Kumar Sharma, AOR
Ms. Suman Rani, Adv.

State of Kerala Mr. G. Prakash, Adv.
Mr. Jishnu M.L., Adv.
Mrs. Priyanka Prakash, Adv.
Mrs. Beena Prakash, Adv.
Mr. Vijay Shankar V.L., Adv.
Mr. Vijaya Mohan V., Adv.

State of U.P. Mr. Sanjay kr. Tyagi, AOR.
Mr. Aviral Saxena, Adv.

State of Karnataka Mr. V.N. Raghupathy, Adv.
Mr. Parikshit P. Angadi, Adv.

Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG
Mr. H.S. Sandhu, Adv.
Mr. Rajat Nair, Adv.
Mr. M.K. Maroria, Adv.

State of Nagaland Mr. Edward Belho, Adv.
Mrs. K. Enatoli Sema, Adv.
Mr. Amit Kumar Singh, Adv.
Mr. K. Luikang Michael, Adv.

UT of And.& Nic.Admn. Mr. Bhupesh Narula, Adv.
Mr. K.V. Jagdishvaran, Adv.
Mrs. G. Indira, AOR

State of Rajasthan Mr. S.S. Shamshery, AAG, Raj.
Mr. Amit Sharma, Adv.
Mr. Sandeep Singh, Adv.
Mr. Ankit Raj, Adv.
Ms. Indira Bhakar, Adv.
Ms. Ruchi Kohli, AOR

Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG
Mrs. V. Mohana, Sr. Adv.
Mr. S. Wasim A. Qadri, Adv.
Mr. P.K. Mullick, Adv.
Mr. Raj Bahadur Yadav, Adv.
Mrs. Anil Katiyar, AOR

Mrs. V. Mohana, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Rajesh Singh Chauhan, Adv.
Mr. Gautam Sharma, Adv.
Mr. B.V. Balram Das, Adv.

State of Mah. Mr. L.D. Joshi, Adv.
Mr. S.K. Nayak, Adv.

State of W.B. Mr. Soumitra G. Chaudhuri, Adv.
Mr. Chanchal K. Ganguli, AOR

State of J&K Mr. M. Shoeb Alam, AOR
Ms. Fauzia Shakil, Adv.
Mr. Ujjwal Singh, Adv.
Mr. Mojahid Karim Khan, Adv.

State of Arun. Pra. Mr. Anil Shrivastav, AOR
Mr. Ritu Raj, Adv.

Mr. Jugal Kishore Gilda, Adv. Gen.
Mr. A.P. Mayee, Adv.
Mr. Avnish M. Oza, Adv.
Mr. Chirag Jain, Adv.
Mr. K. Subba Rao, Adv.

Ms. Rachana Srivastava, AOR
Ms. Manika, Adv.
Mr. Sudipta Sarkar, Adv.

State of Manipur Mr. Leishangthem Roshmani Kh., AOR
Ms. Maibam Babina, Adv.

State of Jharkhand Mr. Tapesh Kumar Singh, AOR
Mr. Mohd. Waquas, Adv.
Mr. Aditya Pratap Singh, Adv.

State of Bihar Mr. Gopal Singh, AOR
Mr. Shivam Singh, Adv.
Mr. Aditya Raina, Adv.

State of Tripura Mr. Shuvodeep Roy, AOR.
Mr. Ritu Raj Biswas, Adv.

State of Assam Mr. Shuvodeep Roy, AOR.
Mr. Sayooj Mohandas M., Adv.