New Delhi, Jan 31: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday gave his nod to a Bill passed by Parliament to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission or 7th CPC. The 7th Pay Commission, led by Justice AK Mathur, had suggested increasing the monthly salary of Chief Justice of India (CJI) to Rs 2.80 lakh per month from the present Rs 1 lakh per month, besides recommending a salary hike of the judges of the Supreme Court and the 24 High Courts. (ALSO READ: 7th Pay Commission: Centre Mulling Changes in CPC Recommendations For Salary Hike of Government Employees) Also Read - Sudarshan TV Row: 'Free Speech, Not Hatred,' Supreme Court Says Media Self-regulation System Toothless
The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 hikes salary of judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts to Rs 2.5 lakh a month, up from the current Rs 90,000. Judges of High Courts, who get Rs 80,000 per month, will now draw a salary of Rs 2.25 lakh a month. The salary hike, which is in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of all-India services, will come into force retrospectively from January 1, 2016. Also Read - 2021 Haridwar Kumbh: In a First, Number of Pilgrims to Be Restricted; Entry Passes to Be Issued
The move will also benefit 2,500 retired judges. Now the salary of judges will be at par with those of the bureaucrats following the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. The Bill will also revise the rates of house rent allowance with effect from July 1, 2017, and the rates of sumptuary allowance with effect from September 22, 2017. Also Read - Regulate Digital Media First: Centre Tells SC in Affidavit Filed in Response to Pleas Against Sudarshan TV
In 2016, then Chief Justice of India T S Thakur had written to the government seeking a hike in the salaries of Supreme Court and high court judges. As against the approved strength of 31, the Supreme Court today has 25 judges. The high courts have an approved strength of 1,079, but 682 judges are today handling work in the 24 high courts.