Recently, a Supreme Court Bench has made it clear to the States and Union Territories (UTs) that recommendations made by the Second National Judicial Pay Commission to nearly triple the pay and allowances for subordinate judiciary should be implemented proactively. The Supreme Court highlighted, in its February 28, 2020 order, that a financially self-sufficient subordinate judiciary was pivotal for the existence of an independent judiciary.
Second National Judicial Pay Commission
The Commission was constituted in 2017 pursuant to the order of the Supreme Court in All India Judges Association case, under Article 32 (Constitutional Remedies) of the Constitution. It is headed by former Judge of Supreme Court Justice P. VenkatramaReddi.
Few of the objectives of the Commission are:
1) To evolve the principles governing the pay structure and emoluments of Judicial Officers belonging to the Subordinate Judiciary all over the country.
2) To examine the present structure of 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 a pension, etc.
3) To consider and recommend such interim relief as the Commission considers just and proper to all categories of Judicial Officers.
4) 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.
The Supreme Court observed that the Commission may consider, if necessary, sending reports on any of the matters as and when recommendations are finalized. The Commission has been empowered to devise its own procedure and formulate the modalities necessary for accomplishing the task.