The judges of lower courts in the country, numbering over 21000 may soon hear good news. It is expected that they will be favoured with a pay hike making their salaries become at least three fold of what is at this moment. The Union Cabinet has given its nod and now the nitty-gritty of the case will be taken care of by the concerned subordinate agencies.
The last revision of the salaries of judges of lower courts was revised in the year 2010. Ever since, much water has followed down the river. After receiving the approval of the Cabinet, the Law Ministry has to constitute the second National Judicial Pay Commission. Justice P Venkatrama Reddi, retired Supreme Court Judge will be the Chairman of the Commission and R Basant, a former judge of the Kerala High Court is the member of the panel. Obviously, the Pay Commission will consider the feasibility of hiking the pay scales of the judges of lower courts in the country and then submit its recommendations.
The Constitution of India allows many privileges and facilities for the judicial organ of the State. Making judges independent means, among other things, making them financially good enough to meet their household expenditures. Judges are supposed to be the custodians of high values of integrity and honesty and they are also the watchdogs of the morals of society. This is practically possible only when they are financially sound and independent. The current entry level salary for a junior civil judge is Rs 45,000 while a senior judge gets nearly Rs 80,000. The Commission will submit its recommendations in early 2019 and the hike again is expected to be given with retrospective effect.
Obviously judges of lower courts will be happy with the news and expectations of considerable hike in their salaries should infuse in them heightened sense of service to the nation. We are fortunate to have the democratic arrangement in which judiciary as one of the three organs of the State enjoys great respect and credibility with the people.