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  • 25 August, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

Post-retirement Allowances to Supreme Court Judges

Post-retirement Allowances to Supreme Court Judges

Image source - Fresh Headline

The government recently changed the rules and boosted the post-retirement benefits for justices of the Supreme Court (SC).

Major Points

  • Present: The Center added post-retirement allowances to the Supreme Court judges' service regulations.
  • The Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act of 1958 authorised the amendment of the regulations. The modifications take effect right away.
  • Background: one day later, on August 26, CJI N V Ramana will step down from his position.

New Rules

  • It permits retired SC judges, including the CJI, to continue using a driver and a secretary equivalent to the level of a branch office for a year following retirement.
  • For a year following their retirement, both retired judges and retired CJIs are entitled to round-the-clock personal security guards and cover for their homes.
  • Additionally, a retired Chief Justice of India (CJI) will receive a Type-VII apartment in Delhi for free for six months after leaving office, as well as protocol courtesy for SC judges at airports.
  • It is customary to extend courtesies in airport ceremonial lounges to a retiring Chief Justice or judge.

About Supreme Court Judge

  • The President appoints the justices of the Supreme Court. The President appoints the Chief Justice of India (CJI) after consulting with the Supreme Court and high court justices that he considers necessary.
  • After consulting with the Chief Justice of India and any other Supreme Court and high court judges he considers essential, the President appoints the other judges. When a judge other than the Chief Justice is appointed, consultation with the Chief Justice is required
  • Choosing a Chief Justice From 1950 until 1973, it was customary to name the senior-most Supreme Court judge as India's chief justice. When A N Ray was appointed India's Chief Justice in 1973 by displacing three senior justices, this accepted practice was broken. M U Beg was once more named chief justice of India in 1977 by displacing the highest ranking judge at the time.
  • In the Second Judges Case (1993), the Supreme Court decided that the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court should be the only one to be chosen to the position of Chief Justice of India, restricting the government's latitude.

Collegium System

  • The "three judges case" gave birth to the collegium system, which has been in use since 1998. In High Courts and Supreme Courts, it is utilized for judicial appointments and transfers.
  • The Collegium is not mentioned in either the original Indian Constitution or any subsequent revisions.
  • The SC collegium, which consists of the four senior-most judges of the court, is led by the CJI (Chief Justice of India).
  • An HC collegium is headed by its Chief Justice and four of the court's other senior-most members.
  • Only when the CJI and the SC collegium have given their approval do names suggested for appointment by an HC collegium reach the government.
  • Only the collegium system is used to nominate judges of the higher judiciary, and the government only becomes involved once the collegium has chosen names.

Working of collegium system and NJAC

  • The collegium suggests judges or attorneys to the Central Government. The Central Government also submits some of its suggested names to the Collegium in a similar manner.
  • The material is sent back to the government for final clearance after Collegium takes the names or ideas provided by the Central Government into consideration.
  • The government must approve the names if the Collegium sends them again with the same name. But there is no set amount of time to respond. This is the cause of the lengthy process involved in appointing judges.
  • The National Judicial Commission Act (NJAC) was established through the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2014 to replace the collegium system for appointing judges.
  • The Supreme Court, however, supported the collegium system and declared the NJAC to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the "Principles of Basic Structure" since the Political Executive was involved in the judicial nomination. Specifically, "Independence of the Judiciary."

Qualifications Required for the Appointment of Judges

  • The following requirements must be met for someone to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge:
  • He must be an Indian citizen.
  • He should have held one of the following positions: judge of a High Court (or High Courts in succession) for five years; advocate of a High Court (or High Courts in succession) for 10 years; or eminent jurist in the president's opinion.
  • There is no minimum age requirement in the Constitution for Supreme Court appointments.

Oaths or Affirmations

  • Before beginning their duties, Supreme Court judges are required to take an oath or affirmation in front of the President or another person he has designated for this purpose.
  • A Supreme Court judge swears in his oath to uphold India's sovereignty and integrity, to carry out his duties as a judge honestly and faithfully, to the best of his knowledge and discretion, and without regard to personal gain, favour, or ill will.
  • He also swears to uphold the laws of India and the Constitution.

Tenure of Judges

  • The duration of a Supreme Court justice is not predetermined by the Constitution. In this regard, it does, however, make the following three provisions:
  • He serves in that capacity until he turns 65 years old. His age will be decided by the appropriate body and according to the procedures laid out by Parliament.
  • He can submit a letter of resignation to the President.
  • On the suggestion of the Parliament, the President may remove him from his position.

Removal of Judges

  • A presidential order is necessary to remove a Supreme Court justice from office. Only after receiving a Parliamentary address for such removal during the same session may the President issue the removal order.
  • A special majority of each House of Parliament must support the address (ie, a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting). There are two reasons for removal: demonstrated misconduct or incapacity.
  • The method for removing a Supreme Court justice through the impeachment process is governed by the Judges Enquiry Act (1968).
  • To date, no Supreme Court justice has been impeached. Justices Dipak Misra (2017–18) and V. Ramaswami (1991–1993) both had their impeachment motions rejected by the Parliament.

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Source: The Indian Express

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