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Amid din in Lok Sabha, Judges Bill is introduced

Context:

Minister of Law and Justice introduced The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2021.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Constitution (Constitutional Provisions, Judiciary)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2021
  2. Salaries and Allowances of High Court and Supreme Court judges
  3. What is meant by independent of judiciary?

High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2021

  • The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2021 clarifies on when Supreme Court and High Court judges are entitled to an additional quantum of pension or family pension on attaining a certain age.
  • According to the bill, in 2009 the two laws were amended to provide that every retired judge or after his death, the family, as the case may be, will be entitled to an additional quantum of pension or family pension.
  • Accordingly, the additional quantum of pension to retired judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court is being sanctioned on completing the age of 80 years, 85 years, 90 years, 95 years and 100 years, as the case may be.
  • The bill seeks to bring clarity from when Supreme Court and high court judges are entitled to an additional quantum of pension or family pension on attaining a certain age.
  • The additional quantum of pension to a retired judge was earlier calculated from the first day of the month in which he completes 80/90/95/100 years the and not from the first day of his entering the age. However, Gauhati HC and Madhya Pradesh HC reiterated that the calculation of pension must start from first day of his entering the age.
  • To clarify the matter and to align the provisions of law to the High Court judgements, the government has brought in this amendment bill.

Salaries and Allowances of High Court and Supreme Court judges

  • The salaries, allowances, privileges, leave and pension of the judges of the Supreme Court are determined from time to time by the Parliament.
  • They cannot be varied to their disadvantage after their appointment except during a financial emergency.
  • Retired Judges of SC and all HCs are entitled to pension which is drawn from Consolidated Fund of India.

What is meant by independent of judiciary?

Judiciary is an important pillar of democracy which adjudicates the disputes and ensures that the government must run according to spirit of the Indian constitution. The Indian constitution protect independence of judiciary through following ways:

  • The judges of higher judiciary are appointed by the president of India in consultation with the members of judiciary itself moreover the collegium gives recommendations regarding appointment of judges.
  • The salary and expenditure of the Supreme Court and Judges are charged from consolidated fund of India.
  • Judges and their conduct cannot be discussed except during the removal.
  • Supreme Court judges are barred from practice after the retirement (High court Judges can practice)
  • Supreme Court can appoint its own staff.
  • Parliament cannot curtail jurisdiction of Supreme Court but can extend it.
  • Security of tenure for judges it means the President of India can remove the judges according the grounds mention in Indian constitution.

-Source: The Hindu

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December 2022
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