Lok Sabha takes up bill to hike salaries of judges of SC, HCsindia Updated: Jan 02, 2018 21:10 IST
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the bill was aimed at enhancing remuneration aligning judges with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. (PTI Photo)
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday took up a bill which seeks to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts by over two folds amid demands by parliamentarians for higher remuneration for themselves.
Soon after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad moved the high court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 for discussion and passage, many members were on their feet demanding a hike of salary of Members of Parliament (MPs).
“We are taking note of your concerns and the proper course would be followed,” Prasad said, stressing that members work for the entire country and they should show a big heart.
The members, he added, should not give an impression that they would not allow an increase in salaries of others unless their own remunerations were enhanced.
Talking about the bill, Prasad said it was aimed at enhancing remuneration aligning them with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission and would come into force from January 1, 2016.
Once the bill is cleared by Parliament and becomes a law, the Chief Justice of India will get a monthly salary of Rs 2.80 lakh from the present Rs 1 lakh. Similarly, judges of the Supreme Court and chief justices of the high courts will draw a monthly salary of Rs 2.50 lakh from the current Rs 90,000.
The judges of the high courts, who get Rs 80,000 per month now, will get Rs 2.25 lakh per month, the bill states.
The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 also seeks to revise the rates of house rent allowance with effect from July 1, 2017 and the rates of sumptuary allowance with effect from September 22.
As against the approved strength of 31, the Supreme Court today has 25 judges. The high courts have an approved strength of 1,079, but 682 judges are today handling work in the 24 high courts. The move will also benefit 2,500 retired judges.
Once the hike is effected, the salary of judges will be at par with those of the bureaucrats following the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th pay panel.
Participating in the discussion, K V Thomas (Congress) suggested that there should be live telecast of the proceedings in the Supreme Court as electronic media often takes a stand which may be contrary to the views expressed by the members.
The government, he said, should also have a say in the appointment of judges as it is manned by elected representatives who are responsible to the people.
Efforts, he said, should also be made to improve quality of legal education and infrastructure in courts so that the country can have a strong and impartial judiciary.