Union minister for law and justice Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service Amendment) Bill 2017 in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Once passed by Parliament, salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts would see a nearly 200 per cent hike.
As per provisions of the Bill, the Chief Justice of India will be entitled to a monthly salary of Rs 2.80 lakh, a steep hike from the current Rs 1 lakh. Similarly, judges of the apex court and chief justices of the high courts would see their monthly salaries go up from the current Rs 90000 to an impressive Rs 2.50 lakh.
The Bill takes into account recommendations made by the 7th Pay Commission which had proposed that salaries of judges should be brought at par with those drawn by high-ranking bureaucrats. In 2016, then Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had also written to the Centre seeking a hike in the salaries of Supreme Court and high court judges.
The benefits of the hike, once approved by the Parliament, will be passed on to judges retrospectively from January 1, 2016.
Besides the Supreme Court judges and chief justices of high courts, judges of various high courts will also get a huge boost in their monthly salaries, which have been pegged at Rs 2.25 lakh as against the current Rs 80,000.
Besides the salaries payable to judges, the Bill also proposes huge hikes in the emoluments and perks that the judiciary is currently entitled to.
For instance, judges who do not use official accommodations but stay in their private residence will be entitled to a monthly allowance equivalent to an amount of twenty-four per cent of their salary. The Bill states that his house rent allowance will be increased at the rate of a) 27 per cent, when Dearness Allowance crosses 25 per cent and b) 30 per cent, when Dearness Allowance crosses 50 per cent.
The Bill also revises the ‘sumptuary allowance’ for high court judges, with effect from September 22. While Chief Justices of High Courts will be entitled to a monthly sumptuary allowance of Rs 30000 as against the current Rs 15000, judges of these courts will be entitled to Rs 27000 as against the current allowance of Rs 12000.
Pensions of the judges will also be revised retrospectively with effect from January 1, 2016. The pensions of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts were last enhanced with effect from January 1, 2006 through the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Act, 2009.
For details of the Bill: click here