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Report No. 14

91. Financial implications of the proposed scales of pay.-

Our recommendations with regard to the revision of pay-scales of judicial officers will no doubt result in some additional financial burden on the States. In the Table set out below we have made an attempt to work out the higher expenditure involved in the carrying out of our recommendations.

The additional expenditure has been as calculated as follows. We have first arrived at the average expense involved in the pay scales of judicial officers in each State on the basis of the following formula:-

Minimum + (Maximu.- Minimum) x (3/.- X/60)

X being the number of years taken to reach the maximum minus five.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

Mysore

300-25-500

440

572

132

52

(+)82,368

500-25-600

577

920

343

18

(+)74,088

Orissa

230-15-260-25-435-EB-25-610-EB-30-700

472

572

100

46

(+)55,200

300-860

@580

920

340

15

(+)61,200

Punjab

300-30-510-EB-30-600-40-720-EB-40-800-850

612

572

(-)40

82

(-)39,360

300-30-510-EB-30-600-40-720-EB-40-800-850

612

920

308

41

(+)1,51,536

Rajasthan

250-25-475-EB-25-750

500

572

72

80

(+)69,120

250-25-500-EB-25-750

500

920

(+)420

30

(+)151,200

Uttar Predesh

300-350-375-25-400-EB

633

572

(-)61

163

(-)1,19,316

250-25-500-25-400-EB-

633

920

287

59

(+)2,03,196

 

30-700-EB-50-850

         

30-700-EB-850

         

West Bengal

250-25-475-EB-25-675-EB-700

490

572

82

121

(+)1,19,064

750-25-850

827

920

93

49

(+)54,684


Additional District Judge corresponding posts, including posts of D.Js. carrying less IAS scale

Total

Remarks

Scale of pay Add. D.Js.

Average cost of post

Revised average cost

Diff.+-

No. of officers

Diff of cost per year

   

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

1000-60-1300-50-1800

1467

1317

(-)150

10

(-)18,000

71640

 

(a) ADJ 800-50-1150

150

1317

(+)267

5

(+)16,020

   

(b) DJ 850-50-1500

1251

1317

(+)66

5

(+)3,960

   
         

-19980

   

ADJ-800-50-1500

1220

1317

(+)97

25

(+)29,100

6,40,416

 

(a) Asstt. Judge-700-50-1000

920

1317

(+)397

29

(+)1,38,156

   
               

(b) Presidency Mag. & Other Judges 1000-30-1300

1200

1317

(+)117

37

(+)51,948

4,26,552

 

800-50-1000

920

1317

(+)364

9

(+)39,312

2,30,100

 

1000-60-1300-50-1800

1467

1317

(-)150

19

(-)34,200

1,33,140

*Additional District Judges have been treated as Subordinate Judges,

 

....

....

....

....

...

2,18,604

 

DJS

1180

1317

137

10

(+)16,440

1,72,896

Because their scale is comparable with subordinate Judges, pay scale.

 

....

...

...

...

....

1,12,176

@ As the data with regard to the scale of increments is not available, the average cost has been arrived at by different formula Max + Mi.- Avg. cost of post 2.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Mysore 300-25-500 440 572 132 52 (+)82,368 500-25-600 577 920 343 18 (+)74,088
Orissa 230-15-260 472 572 100 46 (+)55,200 300-860 @580 920 340 15 (+)61,200
  25-435-EB- 25-610-EB- 30-700                      
Punjab 300-30-510- 612 572 (-)40 82 (-)39,360 300-30-510- 612 920 308 41 (+)1,51,536
  EB-30-600-           EB-30-600-          
  40-720-EB-           40-720-EB-          
  40-800-850           40-800-850          
Rajasthan 250-25-475- 500 572 72 80 (+)69,120 250-25-500 500 920 (+)420 30 (+)151,200
  EB-25-750           EB-25-750          
Uttar Predesh 350-350-375- 633 572 (-)61 163 (-)1,19,316 350-350-375- 633 920 287 59 (+)2,03,196
  25-400-EB           25-400-EB-          
  30-700-EB-           30-700-EB-          
  50-850           850          
West Bengal 250-25-475- 490 572 82 121 (+)1,19,064 750-25-850 827 920 93 49 (+)54,684
  EB-25-675-                      
  EB-700                      

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

Civil and additional Session Judges 500-30-740-EB-30-800-50-900

753

1317

(+)564

20

(+)1,35,360

3,55,680

In Punjab there is no separate class of Munsifs. They are all Subordinate Judges (123) of(class I to IV). Sub-Judges (123) (class I to IV). sub-Judges class I alone are comparable to Sub-judges in other States. It is therefore assumed 1/3 of 123 would be Sub-Judges in the proposed scale 700-50-1000

a. CSJ 600-50-800-50-1200

980

1317

(+)337

45

(+)1,81,980

2,34,972

 

b. DJS 800-50-1000-75-1750-50-1800

1383

1317

66

39

(-)30,888=(+)1,51,092

2,34,972

 

....

....

....

....

....

....

1,73,748

 

We understand that such a formula has been adopted by the Central Ministry of Finance for working out the average cost of posts. The average cost of various posts thus arrived at has been compared with the average cost of the proposed pay scales, and on the basis of the difference, the extra cost to the State resulting from the acceptance of our recommendations as to pay has been worked out as shown in column 20 in the Table. We may, however, point out that the calculations are only illustrative.

There have been considerable changes in the strength of judicial officers in a large number of States on account of the recent reorganisation. As we have not got up-to-date figures of the reorganised strength of subordinate judiciary, it has not been possible to work out the precise additional expenditure for every State. The calculations are based on the statistics relating to the strength of judicial officers as it existed in 1955.

We have commented elsewhere on the propriety of the States making profits out of the court-fees levied on the civil litigant and made recommendations for their reduction so as to make the receipts from court-fees equal the cost of the administration of civil justice. It should not, therefore, be difficult for the States to meet the additional expenditure arising from the increased scales of pay.

92. Judicial work capable of objective appraisal.-

A disconcerting feature of Government service which tends, not infrequently to sap the morale of the officer is the lack of the recognition of his work. This is truer of the judicial than of other services. The work of a judicial officer is easily capable of precise evaluation. It is unlike the work of the executive officer which needs such qualities as initiative, capable of only a subjective appraisal. The work of a judge involves duties and produces results which are capable of an objective appreciation.

An appellate Court on a scrutiny of a dozen judgments or orders of a judicial officer, forms a fairly accurate opinion of his capacity, industry and knowledge. The superior officer, whether a district or a High Court Judge, can with equal certainty weigh the officer's ability to arrange his work so as to cause the minimum of inconvenience to the public, while utilising his time to the best advantage; his capacity to control the subordinate staff; and supervisory work over all the departments of the court.

93. As already explained, the judicial set up, in common with other administrative organisations, has a hierarchy of officers with increasing powers and responsibilities. The majority of higher posts are filled by promotion from the lower ranks. The salary scales also provide for efficiency bars; i.e., stages at which an officer's ability is examined and which he is prevented from crossing, unless his work is considered satisfactory by the superior authority. These devices are intended to ensure that posts needing greater capacity are filled only by persons of merit and ability. They are essential for ensuring that at all points of the administrative machinery are placed men of suitable ability and requisite capacity.

Automatic promotions.- It was, however, universally admitted, at all centres visited by us, that this very salutary system of checks at different stages devised for maintaining efficiency had been almost wholly discarded in promoting officers to judicial posts. Ability has yielded place to mere seniority. Very seldom indeed has it been the case that a promotion has been denied to an officer, though he may not happen to be suited to carry the increased responsibility of superior post. Almost invariably officers are selected for promotion solely on the ground of seniority.

94. The consequences.-

It should be obvious that such a practice is bound to affect the morale of the entire service. When an officer who is known to be "just good enough" is promoted to a post, it is not surprising that men of ability and brilliance should lose all incentive to do their best and be content with being carries along the stream. Only in the State of Bombay, we were told that even officers in the junior cadre were selected to be assistant judges, provided they displayed an exceptionally high level of talent. We were not informed of such "out-of-turn" promotions in any other State. On the contrary in some States, we were informed of cases of persons being promoted to the posts of district and sessions judges, notwithstanding the fact that the High Courts, after careful consideration, had pronounced them to be unfit for such promotions.

95. Record of service not scrutinized.-

A record of service of each judicial officer is maintained by the High Court. This takes the shape of an annual statement of the work done by the officer, with comments of the superior officer (the district judge in the case of the subordinate judiciary) on the ability of the officer to handle his file, his capacity to conduct proceedings with a sense of responsibility, and on his approach to and appreciation of the legal problems dealt with by him. In addition, the district judge who inspects the office obtains a close knowledge of the officer's ability to run the administrative side of his office. The High Court, through one or more of its judges, scrutinizes these details and also records its own impressions.

In some High Courts there also exists the practice of the judges recording their impressions on the judicial work of the officer, gathered from the hearing of an appeal or revision from the officer's judgments. These comments also form part of the personal file or confidential report of the officer. There is thus available a valuable record which cannot fail to indicate the judicial officer who deserves promotion. It is extremely unfortunate that this necessary and useful record is treated as waste paper instead of being weighed and acted upon. Instead of his work and ability being reorgnized by quick promotion the only regard that an officer gets is a posting to a heavy station with an accumulated file of arrears-a legacy of incompetent predecessors-which he is asked to clear off.

96. The existing positions (In LI.P.).-

The present day attitude of complacent tolerance of inefficiency was strongly criticised by Shri T.R. Misra, a former judge of the High Court, in his note of dissent to the Report of the U.P. Judicial Reforms Committee:1

1. Report, pp. 131 and 132, paras. 17, 19 and 21. (Dissenting Note)

"* * * the leniency with which confirmations and promotions are now made, tends to make many judicial officers slack and inefficient. They do not exert themselves and try to improve, which they would if they found that bad work would be punished and good work would be rewarded. [Almost as a matter of course, every Munsif whether efficient or otherwise is confirmed, is certified fit to cross the efficiency bar, is promoted as Civil Judge and in nine cases out of ten as Civil and Sessions Judge and even as District and Sessions Judge.

The few who are passed over in the first instance are promoted in the second or third chance. It is overlooked that the rules about the efficiency bar have been expressly enacted to stop the inefficient and to promote only the efficient, and that the posts of Sessions and Civil Judge and District and Sessions Judge are selection posts to which promotion be made on the ground not of seniority but of outstanding merit.

* * * * * *

"The desired end can be achieved only if the High Court becomes strict and makes it plain to presiding Judges that inefficiency and slackness will not be tolerated, that good work will be recognized and rewarded and bad work will be censured and punished, that they must have due regard for public convenience in handling their cases and should be firm and fearless in dealing with those who try to obstruct and delay justice.

**** ****

**** ****

Only those officers should be promoted as District and Sessions Judges who are of outstanding ability and are known to be strong and competent enough to be able to guide and supervise the subordinate Judicial Officers."

In West Bengal- Similar views were expressed by Shri S.C. Sarkar in his dissenting minute to the Report of the West Bengal Judicial Reforms Committee:)1

"It Is well known that with very rare exceptions every member of the Judicial Service gets into the selection grades and becomes a District Judge in time as a matter of course."

The existence of a similar state of affairs in most of the States has been brought to our notice. It is surprising that the system of what has been called automatic promotion regulated by seniority should have prevailed, notwithstanding the High Court being in charge of the regulation of these promotions.

1. Report, p. 67.

97. Need for strictness.-

We have noticed elsewhere, how the changed circumstances in the country have resulted in very inferior personnel being drawn into the judicial service. This emphasizes the need for greater vigilance in granting promotions and making selections for higher posts. As the level of our field of selection has fallen, we cannot be too careful to see that unfit persons are not selected for the higher posts carrying greater responsibility and inefficiency aggravated.

It is necessary, therefore, that strict scrutiny be made at every stage of a judicial officer's career and that he be placed in a position of greater responsibility only on the basis of a fair appraisement of his merit and ability. The High Court on whom rests the ultimate responsibility for the proper administration of justice in the State cannot afford to treat this vital aspect with indifference and as a mere matter of routine governed by seniority. We, therefore, recorpmend that the promotion of a judicial officer should be made not on the basis of seniority, but on the basis of his ability and merit. The High Courts should be vigilant and stop the officer at the efficiency bar, if his work is not satisfactory or if for any other reason he is not a person who should be entrusted with greater responsibility.

98. Retirement age.-

The retirement age of the members of the subordinate judiciary like that in all other State services, is fifty-five years in all States except Uttar Pradesh. In that State, the age has recently been raised to fifty-eight years for all the State services including the subordinate judiciary.

Existing age limit too low. (Need for retaining experienced officers).- In the course of our inquires, we have received a considerable body of opinion in favour of raising the age limit of retirement of the members of the subordinate judiciary. A large majority of the members of the judicial services are at the date of retirement physically and mentally fit. A number of them are re-employed by the State Governments as members of various quasi-judicial tribunals like Industrial Tribunals, Revenue Tribunals and Election Tribunals.

Some of them are appointed also to administrative posts. We are of the view that, at a time when there is for a number of reasons a growing decline in efficiency, the State Governments should not lose the services of judicial officers possessing long experience and maturity of judgment merely because they have reached the age of fifty-five. It is necessary that the State should endeavour to maintain the efficiency of the service by making use, as long as possible and to the fullest extent, their knowledge, experience and ability.

Recruitment from the Bar facilitated.- There is a further reason in support of the view that the retiring age should be raised. We have already noticed that direct recruitment from the Bar is generally made at the level of district judges. Several members of the Bar decline to enter the judiciary at that stage because the retiring age being fifty-five, they would not earn an adequate pension. It would, therefore, help to attract better talent from the Bar, if the age of superannuation be suitably raised.

Age limits fixed long ago (View of the pay Commission).- The rule laying down the age of superannuation at fifty-five years was made long ago on the assumption that on the attainment of that age, a person would normally cease to be efficient. Living conditions have substantially altered in this country since and the assumption on which the rule was made is probably not justified. With improved standards of health and the advance of medical science, the expectation of life has increased.

Thus, while in 1931 the average expectation of life in India was 26.91 years for males and 26.56 years for females, it had increased in 1951 to 32.45 years for males and 31.66 years for females according to the last census report. It is significant that the National Health Council at a meeting held recently at Bangalore passed a resolution recommending that the age of retirement for medical officers should be raised. It may also be mentioned that as early as 1947 the Central Pay Commission recommended that the age limit of retirement should be raised to fifty-eight years for all Central Government servants.1

1. Report, p. 92.

99. Objections to raising age limit.-

It was suggested, that the raising of the age limit would bar the promotion of the members of the service in the lower rungs and would operate as a denial of opportunity to fresh entrants into the services. The raising of the age of retirement will only postpone by a few years the promotion of judicial officers. Nor can it add to unemployment in any substantial degree because the number of persons annually recruited to the judicial service in a State is very small.

Interlinked with other services.- It was, however, said that the question of the age of retirement of the subordinate judiciary was linked up with the tenure and conditions of service in other State services and cannot, therefore, be discussed and decided in isolation. We have given anxious consideration to this point of view and are unable to accept it.

Position of the judiciary different.- Initially, in India there was no clear demarcation between the judicial and executive services of the country. There was a time when the same officers used to perform judicial and executive functions. It was not, therefore, surprising that the same age of superannuation applied to these officers. But by gradual stages the judicial service has now come to be recognized as distinct from the executive and administrative service of the State. It has a peculiar role to play in our growing social welfare State. In the circumstances, there is no reason why the age of retirement of members of this service should have any necessary relation with that in the executive and administrative services.

Position in England.- In England, the judicial service is governed by its special rules in regard to emoluments and the age of retirement. While the Civil Servants retire at the age of sixty years, the County Court Judges and Metropolitan Magistrates retire at seventy-two. In our country also the tenure and other terms and conditions of service of Supreme Court and High Court judges stand out from those relating to the administrative services.

Special position of the judiciary.- The judicial service stands by itself in the matter of the age of retirement by reason of the great importance of a long experience and a mature mind in the judicial office. The recognition of such importance has led most countries to prescribe a much higher age for the retirement of judicial personnel as compared with that of personnel in other services.

100. Higher age of recruitment in the judiciary.-

There is yet another reason why the question of the age of retirement of the subordinate judiciary should be treated differently from that in other State Services. As noticed earlier a judicial officer enters service at a comparatively higher age than a recruit to the executive or administrative services. It would, therefore, be proper that the retirement age of a judicial officer should be relatively higher than that of an executive officer, so as to enable him to serve for the full number of years if he retains his fitness and capacity of work till he reaches such higher age.

Retiring age to be raised to fifty-eight.- We therefore recommend that the retirement age of the subordinate judiciary in all States should be raised to fifty-eight years. Such a measure will tend to raise the tone and morale of the judicial service as a whole. It will also be consistent with our recommendation to raise the age of retirement of High Court Judges to sixty-five years.



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