KUALA LUMPUR: A group of former judges and their dependents have been advised to try out mediation as a means to solve the dispute with the government over their pension increment.

According to lawyer Christopher Leong, High Court judge Justice Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh had indicated to the parties to explore the possibility of mediation during a case management here yesterday.

“We informed the court that we are amenable to explore such possibility,” he said when contacted.

He said Justice Wan Ahmad Farid had also disclosed to parties that he was related to one of the plaintiffs in the suit and sought the views of the parties.

“We (lawyers for the plaintiffs) informed the court that we do not have any concerns in this regard,” he added.

Leong said federal counsel M. Kogilambigai, who appeared for the defendants, namely the government, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the director-general of Public Service, informed the court that she would need to take instructions from her clients on the matter.

The case has been fixed for further case management on March 21.

On Jan 24, the group, comprising 28 retired High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges, and seven widows to retired judges, filed the originating summons through Messrs Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff.

The judges include former Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, former Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, and former Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who is also a former Dewan Rakyat speaker.

The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants had allegedly failed to give them an appropriate higher percentage of adjustment than the 2% annual increment to their pensions since 2015.

According to them, they were aggrieved by the breach of their constitutionally protected right to adjustment of their pensions, pursuant to Articles 125(7) and 125(9) of the Federal Constitution.

The adjustment of their pensions was provided for by Section 15B of the Judges’ Remuneration Act 1971.