New pay scale to take effect on January 1, 2016: CJI
The second national judicial pay commission’s (SNJP) recommendations, which would nearly triple the basic pay of 25,000 judicial officers, were approved by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court should accord judicial officers their due because their pay scales were last revised in 2006, according to amicus curiae K Parameshwar.
When the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations for central government employees were put into effect on January 1, 2016, CJI Ramana ruled that the revised pay scale for judicial officers, as recommended by the SNJP, would be applicable retroactively from that date.
He noted that 16 years is a long time. With the SNJP in place, judicial officers’ base pay would increase by 2.81 times.
In order to address the staggering backlog of more than four crore cases pending in trial courts, the Centre informed the SC on Monday during the hearing of another case that there are currently 24,485 sanctioned posts of judicial officers across the country, but that the working strength is only 19,292.
Gourab Banerjee, a senior attorney, brought up the subject of calculating pensions for retired judges. However, the Chief Justice of India stated that his top priority is to ensure that the current judicial officers receive respectable salaries even as they toil to meet the enormous challenge presented by the huge pendency.
In accordance with the SC’s directives, the basic pay for judicial officers has already increased by 30%, subject to SNJP approval.
The CJI-led bench ordered the Center and the states to pay the judicial officers 30% of the arrears in the upcoming three months, and another 30% in the following three months.
The bench mandated that the remaining arrears owed to the judicial officers be settled by June 30, 2023. Justice Ramana had pledged to work hard and bring closure to the salary revision of judicial officers when he took the oath of office as CJI in April of last year.
On November 1, 1999, the First NJPC, led by Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty, turned in its final report. However, another judicial committee reviewed its recommendations before they were finalised in 2009. The SC had mandated that the FNJC go into effect on January 1, 2006.