After the Seventh Pay Commission hiked the salaries of government employees, its now the turn of the judiciary to take home a fatter pay package. The government on Wednesday approved revised salaries, gratuity, allowances and pension for the judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts, which will increase their monthly emoluments by over 200 per cent.
The increase will benefit 31 judges of the apex court and another 1,079 (including the chief justices) working in the 24 high courts in the country. Besides, approximately 2,500 retired judges will also benefit on account of revision of pension/gratuity. The revised salary would be applicable from January 1, 2016.
Salary hikes of judges were long overdue with the last increase almost eight years back. It now follows the implementation of recommendations of the Seventh 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 the chief justice of India (CJI), judges of the Supreme Court of India, chief justices and all judges of high courts,” a government statement released after the cabinet meeting said. The government proposes to move the amendments in winter session of Parliament.
While the government did not release the exact quantum of hike in salaries of judges, sources said that it could go up by almost 200 per cent. Accordingly the monthly salary of the chief justice of India (CJI), the highest-paid functionary in the judiciary, may go up to Rs 2.8 lakh, from the current level of Rs 1 lakh.
Similarly, the salaries of the chief justices of HCs and SC would go up to Rs 2.5 lakh per month while that of an HC judge would increase to Rs 2.25 lakh per month.