Lok Sabha passes bill to hike salaries of SC, HC judges

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: A scene in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on January 04, 2017.

New Delhi: A scene in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on January 04, 2017.

A bill to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and the 24 High Courts by over two-folds was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The bill will now head to the Rajya Sabha. 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 Winter session concludes tomorrow and if the bill is not passed by Rajya Sabha tomorrow itself, the salary hike will have to wait till the Budget session.

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 salary hike, which is in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of all-India services, will come into force retrospectively from January 1, 2016.

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, 2017.

In 2016, then Chief Justice of India T S Thakur had written to the government seeking a hike in the salaries of Supreme Court and high court judges.

As against the approved strength of 31, the Supreme Court as of now has 25 judges. The high courts have an approved strength of 1,079, but only 682 judges are handling work in the 24 high courts.

The move will also benefit 2,500 retired judges. Once the hike is comes into effect, the salary of judges will be at par with those of the bureaucrats following the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th pay panel.

(With inputs from PTI)