In what could be the biggest ever salary hike for lowly-paid trial court judges, the Supreme Court-appointed National Judicial Pay Commission (NJPC) has proposed more than three-fold jump in their pay that translates to a monthly increase of Rs 20,000 at the entry level.
Less than three months after being appointed head of the second NJPC, Justice E Padmanabhan, a former judge of the Madras HC, submitted his report to the SC proposing an average 3.07-fold hike in the existing salaries that was recommended by the first NJPC in 1999. The recommendations of the first NJPC headed by Justice Jagannatha Shetty had entitled civil judge (junior division) starting salary of Rs 11,775, civil judge (senior division) Rs 15,200, district judge (entry level) Rs 20,800 and district judge (super time scale) Rs 23,850.
With the increase proposed by the second NJPC, the starting salary of a civil judge (junior division) is expected to be around Rs 35,000, a hike of nearly Rs 24,000. As per Justice Padmanabhan’s recommendations, salary of civil judge (senior division) would be around Rs 45,000, which means a hike of around Rs 30,000. Similarly, the salary of district judge (entry level) would be around Rs 60,000 and that of DJ (super time scale) Rs 70,000.
The logic given by Justice Padmanabhan, after extensive research and hearing of parties almost on a daily basis, was that the first NJPC had recommended salaries of the lower judiciary keeping in view the then salaries of HC judges which was fixed at Rs 26,000 and that of HC CJ at Rs 30,000, SC judges at Rs 30,000 and CJI at Rs 33,000. However, with the CJI and SC and HC judges getting more than three-fold hike in their salaries, the second NJPC thought of applying the same logic for trial court judges.
The salary structure for the higher judiciary got changed with retrospective effect, as the government in January this year agreed to revise the salary of HC judges to Rs 80,000, HC Chief Justices Rs 90,000, SC judges Rs 90,000 and CJI Rs 1 lakh.
The appointment of the second judicial pay commission had come through a judicial order of the apex court on April 30 in an application filed by the All India Judges Association.
Source Times of India.
SC seeks states’ response
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked for response from all states, UTs and High Courts to the recommendations made by the Justice E Padmanabhan Committee, the most prominent being over three-fold hike in revision of salary of lower-judiciary judges.
Appointed by the apex court in April this year, the Padmanabhan committee placed its report before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan. It has also called for an increase in the pensionary benefits to those judicial officers who retired before January 2006 and those after it.Source : Indian Express
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