'How Will Retired District Judges Survive': Supreme Court On Pension

New Delhi:

The pension for retired district judges drew the Supreme Court’s concern on Monday, with the judges asking Attorney General R Venkataramani to help with an “equitable solution”.

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud also pointed out that some High Court judges have approached the Supreme Court over non-payment of salaries as they were not allotted new General Provident Fund (GPF) accounts after their promotion from the district judiciary.

“Retired district judges are getting a pension of Rs 19,000-20,000. After long service, how will they survive?” questioned the Chief Justice, hearing a petition from the All India judges Association.

“This is the kind of office where you become completely incompetent. You can’t jump into practice suddenly and go to the High Court at the age of 61-62 years,” he added.

“We want a proper solution to this. You know the district judge is really suffering,” Justice Chandrachud said.

The Attorney General, who was representing the central government, said he would look into the issue.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued directions about the pay and service conditions of judges, going by the recommendations of the Second National Judicial Pay Commission.

The states were asked to clear arrears and High Courts were asked to form committees to ensure proper implementation.

The commission’s recommendations cover the pay structure, pension and family pension and allowances, besides a permanent mechanism to determine subjects related to service conditions of the district judiciary.

The top court earlier said judicial independence, necessary to preserve the citizens’ confidence in the rule of law, can be ensured only as long as judges can live with a sense of financial dignity.

“The conditions of service while a judge is in service must ensure a dignified existence. The post-retirement conditions of service have a crucial bearing on the dignity and independence of the office of a judge and how it is perceived by society. If the service of the judiciary is to be a viable career option so as to attract talent, the conditions of service both for working and retired officers must offer security and dignity,” the bench of Justices Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra had said.


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