The Delhi Government has decided to provide a series of post-retirement benefits to Chief Justices and judges of the Delhi High Court. Besides free of cost telephone facility, the Delhi Cabinet has decided to provide them an orderly, driver and security guard at the State's expense. It is learnt that the decision would benefit more than 100 judges of Delhi High Court.
Top sources told The Pioneer that Delhi Cabinet has decided to provide an allowance of Rs 14,000 and Rs 12,000 to the retired Chief Justices and retired judges respectively for engaging an orderly, secretarial assistance, driver and security guard. “Both retired Chief Justices and judges of Delhi High Court will get telephone free of cost and they can make calls worth Rs 1,500 per month. The benefit of allowance will be co terminus with lifetime of the concerned judges,” said sources.
The post retirement benefits to Chief Justices and judges will, however, be based on the minimum wages of rates of clerical staff and skilled and unskilled category of persons in the national Capital.
Currently, the retired Chief Justices of the Delhi High Court get about Rs 1.05 lakh monthly pension. The retired judges are paid a monthly pension of about Rs one lakh. Interestingly, a Delhi MlA elected only once gets a monthly pension of Rs 7,500. But if the MlA is elected again, he gets an additional amount of Rs 1,000 every year. That means a two-term legislator ends up getting Rs 12,500 monthly pension.
The Cabinet proposal is reportedly in compliance with the Supreme Court decision of March 31, 2014 and further directions passed by the apex court in connection with the matter during the course of a hearing on July 12. The Cabinet note said, “The Supreme Court while noticing and appreciating the steps taken by the Andhra Pradesh Government in extending post retrial benefits by sanctioning the amount per month for defraying the services of an orderly, driver, security guard and for meeting expenses incurred towards secretarial assistance on contract basis and a residential telephone free of cost with number of free calls to the extent of Rs 1,500 per month over and above the number of free calls per month allowed by the telephone authorities to both the retired chief justices and judges of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, observed that the States who have not so far framed scheme for grant of post retrial benefits formulate the same depending upon the local conditions for the benefit of retired Chief Justices and retired judges of the respective high courts as early as possible preferably within a period of six month from the date of receipt of the copy of the order.”
Senior officials said a similar proposal was earlier referred back to the law department by the Chief Minister only a few months ago. This was on the second occasion when the proposal was finally approved by the Delhi cabinet.
Recently, the Delhi Government has issued a notification allowing recommendations of 7th Pay Commission to judiciary as an interim relief. The Centre has yet to set up a pay commission for judiciary. The last pay commission for judiciary was set up in 2009.