08 December, New Delhi
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill amending the law on salaries and service conditions of Supreme Court and high court judges to “bring in uniformity in pensions and other conditions of service of the judges”.
Replying to the discussion on the High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015, Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said it was not brought in under any pressure from anybody and all the suggestions made by members were “well-taken”.
“We have not brought in this legislature on the demand of the Supreme Court,” he said, dismissing allegations by some members that government had failed to protect “supremacy of the parliament”.
“This (the Bill) was brought in under Article 175 (of the constitution) to ensure that there is no discrimination (in salaries, pensions and other service conditions of the judges of the two courts)” he said, adding the government has no separate proposal to increase salaries or pensions of the judges as the Seventh Central Pay Commission recommendations would take care of it.
On having Supreme Court benches in other parts of the country, Gowda said that several MPs have talked about it with him but there was no proper proposal was made in this regard, and unless the matter is initiated by chief justice of the high court and chief minister of the state concerned, no action can be taken.
On the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014, which was struck down by the Supreme Court on October 16, the minister said the matter of how judges were to be appointed was being looked into as the collegium system of appointment was once again declared as operational.
“I won’t be able to discuss it here as the final judgement has not come (as yet),” he added.