Monday, December 03, 2007

Proposed salary hike doesn’t satisfy SC officials

The parliament endorsed a proposal to hike the salary of judges working in all three tiers of courts, but the Supreme Court officials said they are not happy with the proposed hike. They said the hike is less than what they had proposed.The proposal on Some Acts Amendment Bill Relating to Judges’ Remuneration, Condition of Service and Facilities was sent to the parliamentary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for a clause-wise discussion.The bill, tabled by Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Bikram Nembang, has proposed salary hikes for Chief Justice and judges of all three tiers of courts.The government proposed Rs 31,800 as monthly salary of the CJ along with allowances, and Rs 25,800 as monthly salary of Supreme Court justices and allowances, but Supreme Court officials feel the proposed hike is not enough.If the proposal is passed, an appellate court chief judge will get 24,300 and judges will get 22,800 as monthly salary.

District court judges will get 18,800 as monthly salary. The judges will get housing allowance, petrol allowance, telephone and electricity allowance, and newspaper allowance. During official visits, they will get daily allowances.However, Supreme Court officials feel that the proposed increment is different from the Supreme Court’s suggestion that was forwarded to the government before July. “Our recommendation was a bit different from the government’s proposal,” spokesperson for the SC Til Prasad Shrestha told . The SC had forwarded its suggestion before the increase in the salary of civil servants.“The bill does not even uphold the spirit of the constitution that bars deduction in facilities enjoyed by judges,” he added. According to him, the bill violated the constitution while fixing new housing allowance.The judges have been enjoying half-month salary as housing allowance. The new proposal has proposed giving judges less than a half-month’s salary as housing allowance. “The proposed salary is comparatively higher than that of civil servants, but the state should provide enough salary to the judges so they will be committed to their duty,” president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Prakash Raut, said. “The justices should be empowered by every means to make sure their judgement is not affected.”"The bill does not even uphold the spirit of the constitution that bars deduction in facilities enjoyed by judges."


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