The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the revision in the salaries, gratuity, allowances, pension etc. of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts and retired Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts. It follows the implementation of recommendations of the 7thCentral Pay Commission in respect of Civil Servants.
The approval will pave the way for necessary amendments in the two laws viz. Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958 and High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, which govern the salaries of Chief Justice of India (CJI), Judges of Supreme Court of India, Chief Justices and all Judges of High Courts.
The increase in the salary and allowances etc. will benefit 31 Judges of Supreme Court of India (including the CJI) and 1079 Judges(including the Chief Justices) of High Courts. Besides, approximately 2500 retired Judges will also be benefited on account of revision of pension/gratuity etc.
Arrears on account of revised salaries, gratuity, pension and family pension w.e.f 01.01.2016 will be paid as one time lump sum payment.
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the highest-paid functionary in the judiciary with his current monthly emoluments at Rs 1 lakh, excluding dearness and other allowances.
According to a report in the Times of India, this is likely to be raised to Rs 2.8 lakh, in addition to perks such as official residence, cars, staff and allowances as applicable.
According to the TOI report, the government has pegged the salaries of the chief justices of HCs and SC judges at Rs 2.5 lakh per month, in addition to allowances, at the level of the cabinet secretary, the service chiefs and some constitutional functionaries such as the CAG and the CEC. The salary of an HC judge has been pegged at Rs 2.25 lakh per month, same as that of secretary-level officers in the central government.
The hikes proposed by the Supreme Court committee have not been accepted in full, says the report.
The three-judge panel had recommended a salary of over Rs 3 lakh per month for the CJI, besides other perks. The government has set the salary for the CJI at Rs 2.8 lakh per month, a little above what the cabinet secretary draws. The judges' panel had also recommended a higher pension benefit for retiring judges. This again has been brought to the Seventh Pay Commission level in an equivalent grade.
A three-judge committee had given its recommendations to the government a few months ago with regard to salary hikes for judges. The recommendations were submitted soon after the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for central employees last year. A Cabinet note has been prepared and may be approved by the Union Cabinet soon, sources said. After the Cabinet clears the proposal, the law minister will bring a related judges' salary amendment bill before Parliament.