The salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts across the country will go up soon, with the government all set to clear a proposal to extend the benefits of the Seventh Pay Commission to them. Sources said the Union Cabinet is likely to take up the issue when it meets on Wednesday.
As per the judges’ salary Acts, the Chief Justice of India currently draws a “salary” of Rs 1 lakh “per mensem” (per month) while fellow judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts get Rs 90,000 each.
According to the revised terms, the CJI is expected to get a basic salary of Rs 2.8 lakh per month. The CJI will also get a one-time furnishing allowance of Rs 10 lakh, sources said.
If approved, the basic salary of Supreme Court judges will touch Rs 2.5 lakh per month and their furnishing allowance will be Rs 8 lakh. The basic pay of HC Chief Justices will touch Rs 2.25 lakh. Their furnishing allowance has been fixed at Rs 6 lakh. All three categories will also draw gratuity of Rs 20 lakh and annual pension of Rs 16.8 lakh, 15 lakh and 13 lakh, respectively. The hike will apply retrospectively, which means that all three will get a sizeable amount in hand when it takes effect.
During a recent hearing, a bench of the apex court had asked the government about the salaries of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts which was to be brought on a par with the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for central government staff.
The conditions and quantum of judges’ salaries are laid down in The Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958, and The High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954. Once the government approves the proposal, a Bill to amend the Acts will be tabled in Parliament. Sources said this is likely in the winter session if the Cabinet approves the recommendations without delay. Following the recommendations of a three-judge committee, former CJI T S Thakur had written to the government in 2016, seeking revision in pay packages of SC and HC judges.