Judges Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

The Judges Bill was introduced by The Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in Lok Sabha. The bill intends to amend the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Condition of Service) Act.

What is Judges Bill?

The bill seeks to bring clarity whether the SC and HC judges are entitled to get additional pension on attaining a certain age. Currently, every retired judge or his family (after his death) is entitled to get an additional quantum of pension. This is generally referred as family pension.

What is the issue? Why is a clarity needed?

Currently, the retired High Court and Supreme Court judges are provided with additional quantum of pension on completing 80 years or 85 years or 90 years or 95 years or 100 years which ever the case may be. These are the slabs of the pension. Now the confusion is should the pension be given from the first day of the month when he completes the age or the first day of the month when he enters the age. The bill inserts explanation about this issue.

What clarity does the bill provide?

The bill says that the pension shall be provided on the first day of completing the age and not in the starting. For this, Section 17B and Section 16B are to be included.

What do the courts say about this?

  • In 2018, the Guwahati High Court pronounced that the additional quantum of pension shall be made available from the first day he is entering the slab (80 years or 85 years, etc.)
  • In 2020, the Madhya Pradesh High Court also pronounced the same.

What are the constitutional provisions in regard to their salaries?

The salaries of SC judges are fixed based on Article 125. The Article 125 says that the salaries of SC judges are determined by the parliament by law. Also, the parliament shall decide on the privileges and allowances provided to the judges in respect of leave of absence and pension.

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