Parliament can consider increasing Judges’ salary, not us: SC | India News


NEW DELHI: India may have surged past the UK to become the fifth largest economy in the world, but there remains an unbridgeable chasm in the workloads and salaries of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and Judges of these two countries.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka shied away from entertaining a PIL filed by one Anil Mahajan, who among other things called for a radical revision of salary and retirement age of the constitutional court judges in India while giving a comparison of the retirement age and pay packages of SC judges in US and UK.
In the Supreme Court of India, every Judge hears more than 60 cases a day. Calculated on an annual basis, when the court sits for 220 days, each Judge hears around 13,200 cases, which translates to nearly 2 lakh cases per year.
For the enormous workload handled by the SC, the Chief Justice draws an annual salary of Rs 33.6 lakhs, while each judge is entitled to an annual salary of Rs 30 lakhs. Both the CJI and Judges are entitled to other perks, like a bungalow in Lutyens Delhi and liberal number of domestic helps.
In comparison, the US SC hears about 100-150 of more than 7,000 cases it is asked to review each year. The US SC chief justice gets an annual salary of $ 2,80,500 (Rs 2.2 crore) apart from the perks. A Judge of US SC gets an annual salary of $2,68,300 (Rs 2.13 crore) plus perks.
The UK SC receives around 230 applications for permission to appeal (something similar to special leave petitions – SLPs in Indian SC), but selects around 90 cases per year for hearing. UK SC chief justice gets an annual salary of 2,14,165 pounds (Rs 1.98 crore) plus perks. Each judge of UK SC gets an annual salary of 2,06,857 pounds (Rs 1.92 crore) plus perks.
Justice Kaul said that the retirement age of 65 fixed for SC judges is, in his opinion, good enough. But, on other issues, the bench said that it was for Parliament to take a call. “Parliament should consider and debate what the judges should get. We do not think the judiciary can decide what should be the salary of the judges,” the bench said.
However, it asked the petitioner to send the petition as a representation to the government. “The Union government can give a response, whether they accept the suggestions of the petitioner or not,” the bench said while disposing of the PIL.


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