Breaking: Supreme Court expresses inclination to set up commission to review pay scale of subordinate judiciary
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Breaking: Supreme Court expresses inclination to set up commission to review pay scale of subordinate judiciary

Murali Krishnan

The remuneration and emoluments of judges of subordinate judiciary has been a subject of debate for quite some time now. 

In what could turn out to be a major development in this regard, the Supreme Court today expressed its inclination to set up a pay commission in the line of the earlier Justice Shetty Commission to suggest guidelines to review the pay scale and emoluments of Subordinate judiciary.

The remarks by the Supreme Court in this regard came in a petition filed by All India Judges Association. The Court had issued notice to all High Courts, States and Central government in the matter in 2015.

The matter was heard today by a Bench of Justices Jasti Chelameswar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer.

Senior Advocate Gourab Banerji appeared for the petitioner while Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni represented the Central government.

The power to fix the pay scale and emoluments for subordinate judiciary lies with State governments which do the same in consultation with the concerned High Court.

The Supreme Court had long back constituted Justice Shetty Commission which had made ad-hoc suggestions regarding pay structure of subordinate judiciary. 

Banerji today contended that different pay commissions have come and gone after that, yet the pay structure of subordinate judiciary in different states remain below par.

ASG Nadkarni contended that the pay structure of subordinate judiciary is in the domain of State government and not Centre.

The Bench listened to both the parties before remarking.

“Having regard to the nature of the dispute, it is clear that something needs to be done. Perhaps there should be some guidelines to take of periodic developments. I think it is perhaps time to establish a new commission to examine the issue”, remarked Justice Chelameswar.

Since two High Courts, Tripura and Manipur have not been served, the Court adjourned the case for day after tomorrow. 

The Court is likely to list this matter for final hearing after Holi vacation.

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