The Law Clerks cum Researchers (Law Researchers) at the Delhi High Court have written to the Registrar General (RG) of the High Court seeking an increase in their monthly stipend and making it at par with the stipend paid to the Law Clerks cum Researchers at the Supreme Court.
In their representation to the RG, the Law Clerks cum Researchers have submitted that although the Law Clerks cum Researchers at the Supreme Court are paid a fixed monthly stipend of Rs 65,000 with effect from July 1, 2019, they were receiving only Rs 35,000.
They have contended that being in the capital city, their expenses were similar to that incurred by the Law Researchers in the Apex Court. However, the pay is not the same.
“Most of the Law Clerks cum Researchers belong to different parts of the country and are incurring on an average, about Rs 30,000/- in expenses for transportation, accommodation and food. Additionally, we have been paying an Income Tax of Rs 6,500/-. In terms of the additional benefits, we are only provided with a mere reimbursement of Rs 1950/- for the uniform, once for our term..It is not denied that in June 2019, India has faced the maximum inflation rate and the metropolitan cities were widely affected. With the increasing inflation, we are facing difficulty in sustaining ourselves….”
The Researchers have further submitted that although in August 2018, the then Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal had allowed a hike in the monthly stipend, the same has not been implemented.
“ We would also like to bring to your notice, that on 7th August 2018, the then Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice Ms Gita Mittal, allowed hike in the monthly stipend of Law Clerks cum Researchers to Rs 50,000/-, but the same has not yet been implemented despite repeated reminders.”
It is stated that all the employees of the High Court are being paid the same salary and benefits as that of the employees of the Supreme Court and therefore, Law Researchers should also be seen in the same light.
Thus seeking “equal pay for equal work” and “pay parity”, the Law Researchers have requested the RG to increase their monthly stipend to Rs 65,000 with effect from July 1, 2019, along with arrears in lieu of Rs 50,000 for July 1 2018-June 2019.