Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cabinet to decide on judges’ pay hike

The Union Cabinet is expected to take a call on the issue of hiking the salary of the Supreme Court and High Court judges on Thursday.

The cabinet is meeting amidst reports that the plan has not found favour with the Union Finance Ministry. 

As per media reports the Finance Ministry, although seems inclined to approve a hike but is unwilling to do so as per the recommendations proposed by a three-judge committee constituted by the Chief Justice of India (CJI). 

Once the Cabinet takes a call on the issue, a Bill would be introduced in Parliament as the legislatures nod is required for any change in the salary structure of higher judiciary. 

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.