KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — A group of retired judges and their dependents have filed a suit against the Malaysian government and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, seeking a court order to ensure their pensions are adjusted based on the pension scheme for serving judges.

In the originating summons sighted by Malay Mail, the plaintiffs comprised 28 former judges who served in the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Malaya and the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, and seven dependents of deceased judges.

Besides Ismail Sabri and the Malaysian government, the Cabinet and director-general of Public Services were named as defendants in the suit.

In the court document, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the failure by the defendants — by order in the Government Gazette — in prescribing the appropriate higher percentage of adjustment than the 2 per cent annual increment to the pension and other benefits of each plaintiff which came into effect on July 1, 2015 had continuously altered the pension and other benefits to their disadvantage.

They are also seeking an order for the named defendants to pay each of the plaintiffs the amount entitled to since July 1, 2015 by applying the appropriate higher percentage of adjustment than 2 per cent annual increment to the pension and other benefits pursuant to Section 15B of the Judges’ Remuneration Act.

The plaintiffs also want the defendants to pay each of them in one lump sum the amount they are entitled to for the period between July 1, 2015 and the judgment date.

“The plaintiffs are aggrieved by the anomalous and unconstitutional situation which has been brought about through the non-adjustment of their constitutionally-protected right to advantageous adjustment of their pensions pursuant to Article 125(7) and Article 125(9) of the Federal Constitution as embodied in the Judges’ Remuneration Act (Act 45),” the summons read.

They noted that under the present amended provisions of Section 15B(1) of Act 45, their pensions which are now adjusted annually by an increment of two per cent no longer take into account and reflect the increased effect in the salaries of serving judges.

In the current circumstances, they wanted a declaration that this was in breach of Article 125(7) of the Federal Constitution read with Article 125(9), stating that their pension and benefits should be adjusted according to the current salaries and benefits of serving judges.

Article 125(7) of the Federal Constitution, read with Article 125(9), prohibits the remuneration and other terms of office (including pension rights) of a judge from being altered to their disadvantage after appointment.

Lawyer Christopher Leong of the legal firm Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff — who is acting solicitors for the plaintiffs — confirmed the filing at the High Court on January 24.

He also confirmed no dates have been fixed for hearing yet.

The plaintiffs also noted that the Malaysian government had refused to entertain their notice of demand sent through their solicitors in September last year, following which they had to seek legal redress.

Among the plaintiffs are former High Court judge Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, former Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and former chief judges of Malaya Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Nor.

Former Court of Appeal judge and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yunos and Datuk Seri Hishamudin Yunos were also among those named.