Raise pay of subordinate judiciary: SC

No price is too heavy to secure independence of judiciary, it tells States and UTs

A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde has made it clear to the States and Union Territories that the Second National Judicial Pay Commission recommendation to nearly triple the pay and allowances for subordinate judiciary should be implemented ‘proactively’.

The court said, in its February 28 order, that a financially self-sufficient subordinate judiciary was pivotal for its independence.

“Self-reliance is the foundation of independence. The society has a stake in ensuring the independence of the judiciary, and no price is too heavy to secure it. To keep the judges in want of essential accoutrements and thus to impede them in the proper discharge of their duties, is to impair and whittle away justice itself,” the court quoted from its judgment in the All India Judges Association case.

On February 28, Chief Justice Bobde’s Bench said despite judgments from the Supreme Court and interventions over the years, the States and Union Territories still do not spare enough for their judges. The Bench reproduced a table in its order to demonstrate that subordinate judiciary gets only .44% of the total expenditure of States and Union Territories. The Bench said this was both “inadequate and negligible”.

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