SC Requests Center’s Response to SC Employee Association’s Plea Regarding Judicial Indemnity

On Friday, the Supreme Court directed the Center to file a response to a petition filed by the Supreme Court Employees’ Welfare Association seeking to award a judicial indemnity benefit to officers and employees of the Supreme Court of India on the model of parliamentary allowance paid to employees of the Parliament of India. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant has issued an opinion on the petition filed by the Supreme Court Employees Welfare Association through its registered attorney K Parameshwar.

The Association for the Welfare of Supreme Court Employees, in its plea, questioned the Ministry of Law and Justice for denying court compensation approval to Supreme Court employees, without give reasons or refer to the President. On September 25, 2020, the Ministry of Law and Justice sent a letter to the Chief Secretary of the Supreme Court of India stating that the proposal for the award of judicial indemnity “has not been accepted”.

“However, no reason was given for the decision and the proposal was not submitted to the President for consideration. It is argued that this communication seriously undermines the independence of the judiciary,” reads the statement. petition. According to the petition dated July 30, 2019, the then Chief Justice of India, on the recommendation of the Judges Committee, approved the award of ‘Court Allowance’ and sought approval of the President in accordance with the terms of the provision of Article 146 (2) of the Constitution with effect from January 1, 2016. Thus, a letter dated July 30, 2019, has just been issued by the Registrar of the Supreme Court at Secretary (Justice), Department of Justice, Ministry of Justice and Justice, for President’s sanction/approval.

Now the petitioner has sought proper instruction to rescind the letter dated September 25, 2020, sent by the Ministry of Law and Justice to the Secretary General of the Supreme Court of India and called it a violation of the Section 14 and Section 146. He also called on the union to accept the recommendation of the Judges Committee and the subsequent recommendation of the Chief Justice of India to award “court allowance”, as per a letter dated 30 July 2019, with effect from 1 January 2016.

The petitioner has sought to provide judicial indemnity benefit to officers and employees of the Supreme Court of India on the model of parliamentary indemnity paid to employees of the Parliament of India from 1 January 2016, and to revise the rates of Judicial Allowance for Officers and Employees of the Supreme Court of India whenever there is an increase in the rate of Parliamentary Allowance paid to employees of the Parliament of India. (ANI)

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Andrew B. Reiter