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The Central Government on 31st January 2018 has accepted and notified the proposal of increasing the salary of the judges of Supreme Court and of all the High Courts within the country. The Judges shall now be privileged to enjoy an almost two-fold salary hike. Honourable President Ram Nath Kovind attached his assent to the bill on 25th January 2018. The bill to increase the salary of the Judges was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 4th. The amendment shall be in line with the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of All India Services and this hike is said to have a retrospective effect from 1st January 2016, so as to make the benefit of the hike applicable to the 2500 retired judges as well.
As per, ‘The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Act, 2018’, the Chief Justice of India shall now draw a monthly income of Rs.2.80 lakh which is Rs1.80 lakhs more than his previous salary. The revised salary of the CJI is to be in addition to the perks such as cars, staff, official residences and other allowances as applicable. The other Judges of the Apex Court along with the Chief Justices of all the High Courts who earned Rs.90,000, previously will now receive Rs.2.50 lakhs monthly, which shall be same as that of the cabinet secretary, the service chiefs and some constitutional functionaries as for instance the CAG and the CEC. The remaining Judges of the High Courts will experience a hike of Rs.2.25 lakhs from Rs.80,000 on a monthly basis. The new change in the salary of the Judges of the High Court shall bring the High Court Judges at par with secretary-level officers of the Union Government.
The above-mentioned Act will also modify or revise the current rate of sumptuary allowance and house rent allowance both of which will have retrospective effect from 22nd September 2017, and 1st July 2017 respectively.
The main credit of this salary hike goes to the former Chief Justice of India Justice TS Thakur because he was the one who had first sought for a hike for the Judges of the Supreme and the High Court in the year 2016 through a letter to the Government.
By this move, the officers of the Judiciary will be on par with the bureaucrats and this move will also act as a booster for the judges.