Government gives nod to 200% hike in salaries of Supreme Court, High Court judges
New Delhi: The government has accepted the Supreme Court proposal for raising emoluments given to judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, commensurate with the recent hike in pay for central government staff. 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. 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.
The government has pegged the salaries of the chief justices of High Courts and Supreme Court 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 High Court 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. 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.
Any change in judges salary and service condition has to be passed by Parliament. The salaries of judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court are revised every 10 years, almost on the lines of the hikes given to senior government functionaries.