Judges in India's Supreme Court and high courts are poorly paid, making the job less appealing to experienced legal professionals and leaving existing judges greatly dissatisfied, feels Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani.
The lawmaker, a close aide of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, has suggested to the Prime Minister to immediately set up a National Judicial Commission to recommend pay revision for judges, while claiming that poor working conditions and low pay structures have created a sense of dissatisfaction among them.
"Their working conditions and pay structures are poor in comparison to the executives working in private enterprise. To have good and capable judges in high courts and the Supreme Court, I have suggested to the Prime Minister to fix up the remuneration package as has been done for the Governors and the President of India... (with) periodical upward revision," Nathwani, also a senior executive in RIL, said in a statement.
In a letter dated August 28, 2008 to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nathwani said that the most important question is of getting good judges in the Supreme Court and the high courts.
The vacancies in high courts are large. The reason is... Suitable Bar-Members are not prepared to work as judges because of the poor working conditions...
The suggestions for higher pay come amidst allegations of corruption against judges, including a sitting Supreme Court judge and high court judges.
"Their working conditions... In comparison of equally or less capable executives in private enterprises are so inadequate that the judges have a perception of great dissatisfaction," Nathwani said.
"The ideal methodology to avoid this is establishing National Judicial Commission, which would decide the working conditions and the pay structure of the judges."