Asia & Australia

November 25, 2017

15th Finance Commission to get SC and HC judges a salary hike

Salary hike

The approval for setting up the 15th Finance Commission which is meant to assess the tax resources of the country and suggest a formula for distributing them among states has been given by the Union Cabinet. On November 22, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the judges of the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts will soon get a salary hike with the Union cabinet after the proposal is approved.

On the same day, the minister also said two bills would be introduced in Parliament to effect the pay hike. According to the proposal cleared, the chief justice of India (CJI) will get Rs 2.80 lakh per month and judges of the Supreme Court and chief justices of the high court will get Rs 2.50 lakh a month.

Judges of the high courts will get Rs 2.25 lakh per month, a senior government functionary added. From January 1, 2016, the hiked salary and pension for retired judges will be effective. After all deductions from salary and allowances, currently, Supreme Court judge at present gets Rs 1.5 lakh a month in hand. The CJI gets a higher amount than this, while judges of the high courts get a lesser amount. Rent-free accommodation is provided to judges while they are in service.

In 2016, then chief justice of India T S Thakur had written to the government seeking a hike in the salaries of Supreme Court and high court judges. The Supreme Court today has 25 judges, as against the approved strength of 31. The high courts have an approved strength of 1,079, but 682 judges are presently handling work in 24 high courts. The move will also benefit 2,500 retired judges.

The government’s endeavour would be to get the two bills passed in the winter session of Parliament. Once the hike is effected, the salary of judges will be at par with those of bureaucrats following the implementation of the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Over 2500 retired Judges will also be benefited from this decision after their pension and gratuity is hiked in accordance to recommendations by the 7th Pay Commission, apart from the salary hike of currently serving judges.

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