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Salaries and Allowances of High Court Judges

The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 13, 2015.  The Bill amends the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954 and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958.

The Bill states that a period of 10 years will be added from April 2004 to the service of a Judge, for the purpose of providing pension.  This would be applicable to a judge who has been an advocate of a High Court for at least 10 years.

The 1954 and 1958 Acts provide for leave on full allowances and half allowances.  The Bill adds that casual leave for Supreme Court and High Court judges will be computed in a manner to be prescribed.

Under the 1954 Act and the 1958 Act, the monthly rate of leave allowances, while on leave on full allowances, would be equal to the monthly rate of his salary, for the first 45 days of leave.  Thereafter, it would be 55% of the monthly salary rate for the Chief Justice of High Court (CJHC), 50% for Chief Justice of India (CJI), 55% for other Supreme Court judges, and 60% for other High Court judges.

The rate of leave allowance for leave on half allowance would be 25% of monthly allowance rate for a CJI, 27.5% for a CJHC and other SC judges, and 30% for other HC judges.  The Bill amends this to state that Judges would have the option of availing leave on full allowances, half allowances, or partly full and partly half allowances.

Transfer of a Judge

Article 222 in the Constitution is related to the transfer of a Judge from one High Court to another.

The President may, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transfer a Judge from one High Court to any other High Court.

When a Judge has been or is so transferred, he shall, during the period he serves, after the commencement of the Constitution (Fifteenth Amendment) Act, 1963 , as a Judge of the other High Court, be entitled to receive in addition to his salary such compensatory allowance as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until so determined, such compensatory allowance as the President may by order fix.

Acting Chief Justice of High Court

In every High Court, there is a Chief Justice and many other judges whose number is defined by the President of India.

Appointment of the Judges

The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by the President with the consultation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Governor of the State.

Appointment of Additional and Acting Judges

If by reason of any temporary increase in the business of High Court or by reason of arrears of work therein, it appears to the President that the number of the Judges of that Court should be for the time being increased, the President may appoint duly qualified persons to be additional Judges of the Court for such period not exceeding two years as he may specific.

When any Judge of a High Court other than the Chief Justice is by reason of absence or for any other reason unable to perform the duties of his office or is appointed to act temporarily as Chief Justice, the President may appoint a duly qualified person to act as a Judge of that Court until the permanent Judge has resumed his duties.

No person appointed as an additional or acting Judge of a High Court shall hold office after attaining the age of sixty-two years.

Appointment of retired Judges at sittings of High Courts

The Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time, with the previous consent of the President, request any person who has held the office of Judge of that Court or of any other High Court to sit and act as a Judge of the High Court for that State, and he shall be entitled to allowances as the President may by order determine and have all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of, but shall not otherwise be deemed to be, a Judge of that High Court, provided that he shall not be required to sit and act as a Judge of that High Court unless he consents so to do.

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