Govt to judge: Clar­ify view on LTC

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY -

New Delhi: Re­spond­ing to the re­quest of Jus­tice Kurian Joseph, who sought a re­vi­sion of the Leave Travel Con­ces­sion rules for Supreme Court judges, the govern­ment has writ­ten back ask­ing him if it is his per­sonal view or the opin­ion of the apex court.

The govern­ment is cur­rently con­sid­er­ing re­vis­ing the salar­ies and al­lowances of judges bring­ing them on par with the sev­enth pay com­mis­sion awarded to cen­tral staff. A Cabi­net note had al­ready been pre­pared on re­vi­sion of salar­ies and other com­pen­sa­tion to judges be­fore the govern­ment re­ceived the LTC re­vi­sion re­quest from Jus­tice Kurian.

The apex court judge had sought eight LTCs to SC judges in a year as against three they get an­nu­ally at present. Jus­tice Kurian Joseph had sought a re­vi­sion of the Leave Travel Con­ces­sion rules for Supreme Court judges. The apex court judge had sought eight LTCs in a year as against three the SC judges get an­nu­ally Ac­cord­ing to the rules gov­ern­ing LTCs for judges, SC judges get same ben­e­fit as a sec­re­tary-level IAS of­fi­cer, only that they get three in a year against the bu­reau­crats en­ti­tle­ment of two in a block of four years.

Of the two LTCs ap­pli­ca­ble to bu­reau­crats in four years, one is re­stricted to travel to home-town and the sec­ond is for a visit any­where in In­dia with wife and de­pen­dent chil­dren. In ad­di­tion to air travel ex­penses, the LTC rules pro­vide for 10 days ad­di­tional pay with a cer­tain num­ber of LTCs, which, ac­cord­ing to the re­vised sev­enth pay com­mis­sion, could go up to Rs 75,000.

The pur­pose of writ­ing back to Jus­tice Kurian is to as­cer­tain if the re­quest made by him is an or­der of the apex court or just a per­sonal re­quest made by a judge. Any en­hance­ment of LTCs granted to judges will have sig­nif­i­cant mon­e­tary im­pli­ca­tion for the govern­ment.

Jus­tice Kurian had ar­gued that judges who do not be­long to Delhi need to travel of­ten to their home town and that they should be given at least five more LTCs re­stricted only to per­ma­nent res­i­dence (home LTC) be­cause of fam­ily com­mit­ments.

The emol­u­ments of the SC judges are also likely to be re­vised soon. Cur­rently, the Chief Jus­tice of In­dia is the high­est-paid func­tionary in the ju­di­ciary with monthly salary of Rs 1lakh, ex­clud­ing dear­ness and other al­lowances. This is likely to be raised to Rs 2.8 lakh, in ad­di­tion to perks such as of­fi­cial res­i­dence, cars and al­lowances as ap­pli­ca­ble.

The govern­ment has pegged the pro­posed salar­ies of chief jus­tices of HCs and SC judges at Rs 2.5 lakh per month, in ad­di­tion to al­lowances, at the level of the cabi­net sec­re­tary, the Ser­vice chiefs and some con­sti­tu­tional func­tionar­ies such as the CAG and the CEC. The salary of an HC judge has been pegged at Rs 2.25 lakh per month, same as that of sec­re­tary-level of­fi­cers in the cen­tral govern­ment.


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