The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision has ruled that retired Members of Parliament (MPs) are not entitled to receive pension per the constitution but they are entitled to gratuities which are stipulated in Article 114 of the 1992 constitution.
The court, therefore, ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Chinery Hesse Committee set up by President Kufuor in 2008 to have sought to create a pension package for MPs.
According to a Daily Graphic report, the court held that “By the combined reading of Article 71(3), 98(1) and Article 114 of the 1992 Constitution, the Chinnery-Hesse Committee acted unconstitutionally.”
The court, therefore, threw out the appeal by 43 former members of parliament to get the government to pay them ?233,495 each.
In 2017, the former MPs sued the government at the High Court for GH?233,495 each, being their accrued monthly pension pay.
The basis of the legal action by the 40 former MPs was the Chinnery-Hesse Presidential Emoluments Committee (PEC) which provides that parliamentarians who were 50 years and above and exited Parliament, having served two full terms, should be paid some sums of money as pension benefits.
Some notable names among the 40 former MPs who initiated the legal action are Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Dr Kwame Ampofo, Mr Kwamina Bartels, Mr Freddie Blay, Mr Kenneth Dzirasah, Ms Christine Churcher, Mr Isaac E. Edumadze (deceased) and Mr Nkrabea Effah-Darteh, Mr David Apesera and Mr S.K Boafo.
The former MPs lost a suit at the High Court and appealed at the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal decided to make a constitutional reference to the Supreme Court to decide whether or not per the 1992 Constitution, retired MPs were entitled to pension.