Second National Judicial Pay Commission

  • After the First Judicial Pay Commission report (1996) and the Sixth Central Pay Commission (2006), the Supreme Court (SC) constituted the Padmanabhan Commission in 2009 to give recommendations on pay scales, allowances and perquisites of judicial officers.
  • However, due to some anomalies, the All India Judges Association filed a writ petition in the SC for constitution of a separate pay commission for judicial officers.
  • The SC, under the Article 32, allowed constitution of the Second Judicial Pay Commission in May 2017.

First National Judicial Pay Commission(NJPC)

  • The First National Judicial Pay Commission was appointed in year 1996, headed by Justice K. Jagannatha Shetty.
  • The Commission submitted its report in the year 1999, covering not merely the pay structure, allowances and conditions of service of Judicial Officers, but also various other aspects concerning the Courts and judicial administration.

Padmanabhan Commission

  • The One Man Commission was appointed by the Supreme Court in April 2009 under Justice E.Padmanabnan to determine the pay scales of all the Judicial Officers working and retired throughout the country on the basis of First National Judicial Pay Commission.
The Commission, which submitted its report in July 2009, recommended an average 3.07-fold hike in the existing salaries of Judicial Officers.

About Second Judicial Pay Commission

  • Following the SC order, the Union cabinet approved the appointment of a second national judicial pay commission for the subordinate judiciary in November, 2017, headed by Justice J P.Venkatrama Reddi, former Judge of Supreme Court.
  • The Interim Report was submitted by the Commission in 2018.

Objective

  • To recommend a uniform pay scale for the service of judicial officers of the subordinate judiciary throughout the country.

Need

  • Given the virtue of duties performed by judicial officers they are not equated with state government officers, even though it is essentially a state subject.
  • Though there is revision of pay scales for employees of the central government, Judges and judicial officers of subordinate courts got their last pay hike in 2010.

Term of References

  • To evolve the principles governing the pay structure and emoluments of Judicial Officers belonging to the Subordinate Judiciary all over the country.
  • To examine the present structureof emoluments and conditions of services of Judicial Officers in the States and Union Territories and to make suitable recommendations including post-retirement benefits such as pension, having regard among other relevant factors to the existing relativities in the pay structure between the Officers of Subordinate Judiciary and other civil servants.
  • To make recommendations regarding setting up of a permanent mechanism to review the pay and service conditions of members of Subordinate Judiciary periodically by an independent Commission.

Major Recommendations

Pay

  • Having considered various alternative methodologies has recommended the adoption of Pay Matrix which has been drawn up by applying the multiplier of 2.81 to the existing pay, commensurate with the percentage of increase of pay of High Court Judges @ 3% cumulative has been applied.
  • As per the revised pay structure evolved by the Commission, the Junior Civil Judge/First Class Magistrate whose staring pay is Rs.27,700/- will now get Rs.77,840/-.
  • The percentage of Selection Grade and Super Time Scale District Judges proposed to be increased by 10% and 5% respectively.
  • The revised pay and pension will be effective from 1st January, 2016.
  • Arrears will be paid during the Calendar year 2020 after adjusting the interim relief.

Pension

  • Pension at 50% of last drawn pay worked out on the basis of proposed revised pay scales is recommended w. e. f. <str1st January, 2016.
  • The family pension will be 30% of the last drawn pay. Additional quantum of pension will commence on completing the age of 75 years (instead of 80 years) and percentages at various stages thereafter are increased.
  • Nodal officers will be nominated by the District Judges to assist the pensioners/family pensioners.
  • Recommendation has been made to discontinue the New Pension Scheme (NPS) which is being applied to those entering service during or after 2004.The old pension system, which is more beneficial, will be revived.

Allowances

  • The existing allowances have been suitably increased and certain new features have been added.
  • However, the City Compensatory Allowance (CCA)is proposed to be discontinued.
  • House Rent Allowance (HRA) proposed to be increased uniformly in all states.
  • Certain new allowances viz. children education allowance, home orderly allowance, transport allowance in lieu of pool car facility has been proposed.

Medical Facilities

  • Improvement in the medical facilities and simplification of the reimbursement procedure.
  • Medical facilities to be granted to pensioners and family pensioners also.

Significance

  • Making Judiciary More Efficient: The recommendations of the Commission will help in promoting efficiency in Judicial Administration, optimizing the size of judiciary and to remove anomalies created in implementation of earlier recommendations.

Subordinate Judiciary – Its Pivotal Role in Justice System

  • The Subordinate Judiciary is the backbone of the Judicial System. Most of the common people, especially those living in the rural areas, know of the Courts at the lowest level in judicial hierarchy,e., the Courts located in taluka or mandal areas.The “dynamics of judicial processes” are witnessed by the public mostly in these Courts.
  • The Subordinate Courts and the Districts are the eyes and ears of the Judiciary. The image of Judiciary depends much on their efficient functioning and the capacity to dispense justice to the best of their ability.
  • The Subordinate Courts play a prominent role in preserving law and order in the society. It is the public confidence in the judicial system that sustains the credibility of the Judiciary. In generating and fostering the public confidence, the role of the District and Subordinate Judiciary is therefore significant.
  • Ensuring adequate emoluments and proper working conditions for the Judges constituting subordinate Judiciary will help in promoting judicial independence which is a basic feature of the Constitution.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, February, 2020