JULY 28, 2022
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the recommendations of the second national judicial pay commission (SNJP) that would nearly triple basic pay of 25,000 judicial officers. Amicus curiae K Parameshwar told the Supreme Court said that the apex court should give the judicial officers their due as their pay scales were last revised in 2006.
CJI Ramana said 16 years is a long time and ordered that the revised pay scale for judicial officers, as recommended by the SNJP, would be applicable retrospectively from January 1, 2016, the date from which the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations have been implemented for central government employees. The basic pay of judicial officers, on implementation of the SNJP, would go up by 2.81 times.
At present, there are 24,485 sanctioned posts of judicial officers across the country, but the working strength is 19,292, the Centre had informed the SC on Monday during the hearing of another case relating to creation of adequate judicial infrastructure and judges posts to help tackle the monstrous pendency of over four crore cases in trial courts.
Senior advocate Gourab Banerjee raised the issue of pension computation for the retired judges. However, the CJI said that his priority is to see that present judicial officers get dignified salaries while slogging to meet the enormous challenge thrown up by the huge pendency. On the directions of the SC, the judicial officers are already given a 30% hike in basic pay, pending approval of the SNJP.
The CJI-led bench directed the Centre and the states to pay 30% of the arrears to the judicial officers in the next three months and another 30% in the subsequent three months. The bench said that the balance arrear amount accruing to the judicial officers should be paid to them by June 30, 2023. After taking oath as CJI in April last year, Justice Ramana had promised to endeavor and give finality to the salary revision of judicial officers. The First NJPC headed by Justice K Jagannatha Shetty had submitted its report on November 1, 1999. But its recommendations were vetted by another judicial committee and finalized in 2009. The SC had ordered implementation of FNJC from January 1, 2006.