The government could bring a bill in Parliament to hike senior judges’ salaries in the budget session of Parliament, sources in the Law ministry have said.
Chief Justice of India, TS Thakur, had recently written to the government seeking a hike in salaries of Supreme Court and high court judges. Their salaries were last hiked in 2009, with retrospective effect from 2006.
Salaries of the lower judiciary are decided by the respective states, but those of SC and HC judges need a Parliamentary nod. Currently, the Chief Justice of India draws Rs 1 lac, while judges in the SC and chief justice of HCs draw Rs 90,000 each. High court judges get Rs 80,000.
These salaries were originally fixed under Schedule II of the Constitution and could only be hiked after a constitutional amendment. In 1986, the 54th Amendment of the Constitution, ensured separate parliamentary laws for fixing judges’ salaries -- the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act and the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act.