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Lok Sabha takes up bill to revise judges' salary, MPs too seek hikes

New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) A bill to revise salary and pensions of the High Court and Supreme Court judges was taken up for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday amid demand by MPs for hike in their salaries.

The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 was introduced in the House by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month.

After the minister moved the bill for discussion and passage, many members demanded a hike of their salaries.

Prasad said the government had taken note of the concern and expectations of members. "Surely, in the proper process, the course will be followed. What I want to tell the members is that here we sit for the entire country," he said.

He said the members should not give an impression that they would not revise salaries of others unless their own salaries were increased, to which Shiv Sena member Arvind Sawant said they "never said like this."

Congress member K. V. Thomas said there is a genuine demand regarding salaries and pensions of the members but he was not linking it to the bill under discusson.

The bill seeks to revise the salaries, gratuity, allowances, and pensions of the judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, as well as those who have retired.

The move will benefit 31 judges of the Supreme Court (including the Chief Justice of India) and 1,079 judges (including the Chief Justices) of high courts.

About 2,500 retired judges will also be benefited.

The bill follows the implementation of recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission in respect of civil servants.

Under the provisions of the bill, the Chief Justice of India will get a monthly salary of Rs 2.8 lakh from the present Rs 1 lakh and judges of the Supreme Court and chief justices of the high courts will draw a monthly salary of Rs 2.5 lakh from the present Rs 90,000.

The bill seeks to amend the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958 and High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954.

--IANS

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