Saturday, November 8, 2008

Judges pay hike unlikely before next Parliament sitting

Supreme Court and High Court judges will have to wait till the next parliament sitting expected in December to get a pay hike - a proposal which is under consideration by the Law Ministry.

“Since the higher judiciary’s emoluments can only be revised through an Act of Parliament, the government cannot do much except for doing the ground work for the process,” said a ministry official, indicating that a final decision is yet to be taken on the extent of pay hike for judges.

Once the law Ministry forms an opinion on the issue it would be discussed with the Finance Ministry, whose nod is also crucial for determining the extent of pay hike for the judges, the official said.

“Nothing is final yet…its all in the pipeline,” the official said.

Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, in a letter to the ministry in July, had sought a hike of two to three times the present monthly salaries of judges of the higher judiciary.

He had pointed towards the pay revision proposal for government employees under the Sixth Pay Commission and built a case for salary hike for judges as well.

The CJI, at present, gets a monthly salary of Rs 33,000. The letter had suggested raising it to Rs 1.1 lakh.

For other apex court judges, the CJI had suggested a monthly salary of Rs 1 lakh and favoured a similar pay for Chief Justices of High Courts. The chief justice had proposed a monthly salary of Rs 90,000 for High Court Judges.

Seeking better perks, the CJI also talked about raising the medical reimbursements for judges from the higher judiciary.

Source : NDTV

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