Sunday, February 19, 2006

SHETTY COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS

(As approved by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “All India Judges Association & Ors vs. Union of India & Others” W.P. No.1022 of 1989 vide order dated 21.03.02)

1. TREATMENT WITH DIGNITY AND HONOUR: Trial Judge in adversary system is made to work in charged atmosphere and is constantly under psychological pressure.

· It is not proper for Appellate Courts while dealing with appeals and revisions to make derogatory and disparaging remarks using intemperate language against lower courts.

· The task of Appellate Judge compared to the duties of conducting trial with procedural fairness is not so difficult. The trial judges should be treated with dignity and honour.

· The practice of summoning the Trial Judges by the High Courts to admonish them in the open court is nothing but humiliating them.

· It is hoped that those Judges would soon discontinue that practice in the interest of maintaining harmony in the judicial fraternity and promoting public confidence in the administration of justice.

2. ANNUAL CONFIDENTIAL REPORTS / SELF ASSESSMENT REPORTS: The Commission considers that the procedure prescribed for writing the Confidential Report for All India Administrative Service is a better one and more transparent. All High Courts have been requested to adopt this procedure with minor modifications here and there, if necessary, if they have not yet adopted the same.

3. EASY ACCESSIBILITY: Any Judicial Officer with any problem should have easy access not only to the Registrar General of the High Court but also to the concerned Administrative Judge / Chief Justice. The present tendency of certain Judges and Chief Justices to avoid audience to Judicial Officers on the ground that they need not bother them is not desirable.

4. DISPENSERS OF JUSTICE SHOULD NOT BE DENIED JUSTICE IN THEIR OWN CASES: The Commission suggests that the writ petitions of the judicial officers should be expeditiously disposed of preferably by a bench presided over by the Chief Justice of the High Court. If the Chief Justice is disabled to hear such cases, the senior-most Judge may be requested to preside over such bench.

5. SCRUTINY ON THE EVE OF ATTAINING 58 YEARS FOR EXTENDING BENEFIT OF TWO YEARS SERVICE: The review of cases shall be undertaken when the Officers are about to attain the age of 50 and 55 years and those who are considered as dead wood should be weeded out in public interest.

6. THREE UNIFORM CADRES: To dissect the Judicial Service other than the Higher Judicial Service / Superior Judicial Service into two distinct cadres, viz., Civil Judges (Jr. Divn.) and Civil Judges (Sr. Divn.). In para 35 of the Judgement, Hon’ble Supreme Court suggested incorporating the following nomenclature under Assured Career Progression Scheme (ACP):

A:Civil Judge (Junior Division)
i) Civil Judge
ii) Civil Judge (Grade II)
iii)Civil Judge (Grade I)

B:Civil Judge (Senior Division)
i) Senior Civil Judge
ii) Upper Civil Judge
iii)Superior Civil Judge

7. RECRUITMENT TO THE CADRE OF CIVIL JUDGES (JUNIOR DIVISION): Hon’ble Supreme Court has ruled in para 34 of the Judgement that fresh law graduates can directly apply for Judicial Service. Training be imparted to them of not less than one year, preferably 2 years. Three advance increments be given to the selected candidates with Post-Graduation in law. It would be useful to extend the zone of selection to law graduates working in Courts and other allied departments. Written examination followed by viva voce test should be essential for selection of Civil Judges (Junior Division).

8. CIVIL JUDGES (SENIOR DIVISION): The cadre of Civil Judges (Senior Division) should be constituted purely as promotional cadre. Minimum experience of five years as Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.) is a must for earning eligibility for promotion as Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.).

9. DIRECT RECRUITMENT TO THE CADRE OF DISTRICT JUDGES: Not more than 25% of the posts in the cadre of District Judges should be reserved for direct recruitment. The candidates for direct recruitment to the cadre of District Judges should be between 35 and 45 years and the upper age may be relaxed by 3 years for SC/ST candidates. The same age limit must be applicable to service judges also as and when they are made eligible for such direct recruitment. There shall be written examination followed by viva-voce. The direct recruits to the cadre of District Judges shall be on probation for a period of two years and all promotees shall be on officiating basis for a similar period of two years. The period of probation or officiation may be extended by the appointing authority with reasons to be recorded in writing by such period not exceeding twice the prescribed period of probation or officiation, as the case may be. Training is a must for direct recruits and promotees to the cadre of District Judges. Minimum 25 per cent of the posts in the cadre of District Judges in every State / UT shall carry Selection Grade. This may be given on the basis of merit-cum-seniority to those who have put in minimum experience of 5 years in the cadre. Minimum 10% of cadre strength in District Judges be given Super Time Scale to those who have put in minimum number of 3 years in the cadre of Selection Grade.

10. THE LOWER JUDICIAL SERVICE PERSONNEL BE ELIGIBLE FOR DIRECT RECRUITMENT TO THE POST OF DISTRICT JUDGES: Clause (2) of Article 233 be substituted with the following clause:

“Art. 233(3): A person shall be eligible to be appointed directly as a District Judge if he has been for not less than seven years an Advocate or held judicial office in the territory of India and is recommended by the High Court for appointment."

i) 25% of the vacancies of District Judges be filled directly from Bar.
ii) 50% vacancies be filled on Merit cum Seniority and High Courts should evolve and devise a test in order to ascertain and examine legal knowledge and to assess continued efficiency with adequate knowledge of case law.
iii) 25% vacancies in District Judge cadre be filled on merit through limited departmental competitive examination. Qualifying service in Civil Judge (Senior Division) to be not less than 5 years.

11. INTER-SE SENIORITY BETWEEN DIRECT RECRUITS AND PROMOTEES IN THE CADRE OF DISTRICT JUDGES: In para 31 of the Judgement, Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that on the lines of Central Government, a 40 point roster be maintained to determine seniority by roster points irrespective of the fact as to when a person is recruited. This system works on the principle of specifying quota in relation to the posts and not in relation to vacancies. It was further held that this system can be made applicable prospectively except where Rota-Quota is followed, meaning thereby that in Delhi, it is to be applicable retrospectively.

12. JUDICIAL TRAINING & EDUCATION: Hon’ble Supreme Court has ordered that the minimum period of training should be one year and has also suggested to preferably extending it to two years in case of recruits to Civil Judge Cadre (Junior Division). The courses for in-service training can assume short-duration sensitization or orientation programmes on week-ends or can be week-long or fortnight-long residential courses around identified problems or issues for upgradation of knowledge / skills. Even exchanges and training arrangements with select academies abroad would be desirable.

13. ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION OF HIGH COURTS TO BE ABOLISHED: It is necessary to abolish the original civil jurisdiction of the High Court to bring about complete uniformity of jurisdiction of the Civil Courts.

14. EVOLUTION OF NEW PAY SCALES: The Master Pay Scale evolved by the Commission is as follows:

Rs. 9000-250-10750-300-13150-350-15950-400-19150-450-21850- 500-24850.

The following three primary Pay Scales along with assured career progression scheme have been determined, cadre-wise:

CIVIL JUDGES (JR. DIVN.):
Primary Pay Scale : Rs.9000-250-10750-300-13150- 350-14550
ACP: I Stage : Rs. 10750-300-13150-350-14900
ACP: II Stage : Rs. 12850-300-13150-350-15950-400-17550

CIVIL JUDGES (SR. DIVN.):
Primary Pay Scale : Rs.12850-300-13150-350-15950- 400-17550
ACP: I Stage : Rs. 14200-350-15950-400-18350
ACP: II Stage : Rs. 16750-400-19150-450-20500

DISTRICT JUDGES:
Entry Level : Rs.16750-400-19150- 450-20500
Selection Grade : Rs.18750-400-19150-450-21850-500-22850
Super Time Scale : Rs.22850-500-24850.

The mean of the basic pay of Civil Judges (Junior Division), Civil Judges (Senior Division), District Judges (Entry Level), District Judges (Selection Grade) and District Judges (Super Time Scale) works out respectively at 42.3%, 58.5%, 71.6%, 80% and 91.7% of the salary of the High Court Judges. The mean of the basic pay of Civil Judge (Junior Division) and Civil Judge (Senior Division) works out at 49.4% and 63.7% of the mean basic pay of the District Judges (Super Time Scale). In case the salary of the High Court Judges is revised upward at any time, the pay scales of the Judicial Officers in all the aforesaid cadres should also be suitably revised upward by maintaining the said respective ratios.

15. DEARNESS ALLOWANCE: The same DA formula as being implemented at present to the Central Government employees be followed in the case of Judicial Officers.

16. PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: The Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.) will get the first ACP after completion of 5 years of service. Again at the end of 10th year of service he is eligible to get the second ACP and the pay scale recommended is the same as that of the pay scale of Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.). The Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.) is also brought under the ambit of ACP. The Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.) will get his first ACP after completion of 5 years of service in the cadre and be eligible to get second ACP after completion of 10 years of service in the cadre. The pay scale assigned for the second ACP is the same as that of the pay scale of DJs (initial level). These ACPs are not automatic but subject to appraisal of their work and performance by High Court.

17. RETIREMENT BENEFITS: Pension should be admissible only if Judge has served a minimum period of 10 years. The qualifying years of service should be 33 years for earning full pension. Pension be paid at the existing level of 50% of pay. Commutation of pension for Judicial Officers be allowed upto 50% of the pension determined. Restoration of commuted pension may be allowed after 15 years. Rules of each State applicable to Government Servants shall govern also the Judicial Officers in the matter of payment of gratuity. The procedure prescribed from time to time by the respective State Governments for Government employees with regard to the limit of Earned Leave for encashment would continue to operate even for Judicial Officers. Payment of family pension at 30% of the last pay drawn be paid to the family members of the Judges.

18. ELECTRICITY AND WATER CHARGES: 50% of charges of electricity and water consumed by the concerned Judicial Officer in his residential accommodation be paid by the State Government with a suitable cap to be fixed.

19. CONVEYANCE: Instead of one pool car for five Officers, it should be one pool car for a maximum of four Officers. The Judicial Officers may be allowed to utilise the pool car for their personal requirements when it is not on duty for Court purposes, at a rate of Rs.3.50 per K.M. The Judicial Officer who owns Car be given the following litres of petrol / diesel or equivalent price thereof in the type of city or location as mentioned hereinbelow:

Type of City /Ceiling limit of petrol-diesel (in Litres)
i. 'A' and 'A-1' /75 Litres
ii. District Centre/50 Litres

The Judicial Officer who owns Scooter be given 25 litres of petrol or equivalent price thereof. The Judicial Officer who owns Car may be given the option to avail of the pool vehicle facility or petrol / diesel as aforesaid. The Judicial Officers may be given liberal soft loans with nominal interest as Motor Car Advance upto a ceiling of Rs.2.5 lakhs with convenient instalments for repayment.

20. SUMPTUARY ALLOWANCE: Sumptuary allowance at the following rate be paid and it must be made tax-free:
Category of Judicial Officer / Rs. per month
District Judge / 1,000/-
Civil Judge (Senior Division) / 750/-
Civil Judge (Junior Division) / 500/-

21. MEDICAL FACILITIES: The Judicial Officers in every State be given the medical benefits that are provided to the Members of the respective State Legislatures, subject to certain modifications herein below mentioned:

i) The State Government shall notify the list of Hospitals / Dispensaries, Government and private, in each City / District Headquarters and Taluka places for medical treatment of Judicial Officers and members of their family;

ii) The Judicial Officers shall be entitled to claim expenses incurred by them for the medical attendance and the treatment obtained by them and their family members in such notified Hospitals / Dispensaries. The expenses shall be inclusive of the charges for accommodation in the place where such treatment is taken.

iii) The Judicial Officers shall be entitled to reimbursement of the expenses incurred by them or for their family members for the medical attendance and treatment obtained by them in any place other than in a hospital or dispensary maintained by the State Government and other than the hospitals or dispensaries notified by the Government, to the same extent as they are entitled to under the rules for reimbursement of expenses incurred by them for medical attendance and treatment obtained in the notified Hospital or Dispensary. Expenses shall be inclusive of charges for accommodation.

iv) There should not be any restriction on reimbursement except to the extent of in-patient room entitlement. Further, there should not be any ceiling on reimbursement of expenditure on expensive treatments like kidney transplant, open heart surgery etc; full reimbursement of actual expenses should be allowed.

v) The Principal District Judge should be notified as the competent authority for passing the bill for reimbursement of medical attendance and expenses of Judicial Officers under him and in case of District Judges, the High Court should be the sanctioning authority.

vi) All claims for reimbursement of the expenses incurred by Judicial Officers for themselves or for their family members should be accompanied by an "Essentiality Certificate" issued by the Authorised Medical Attendant with the bills for reimbursement, supported by the prescription and vouchers or cash memos.

vii) Judicial officers shall be entitled to advances to meet the medical expenses for treatment upto 80% of the estimate and the balance be paid after approving the bill when it is produced.

viii) Rs.100/- per month be paid to all Judicial Officers, both serving and retired, as Medical Allowance, in addition to the other benefits.

22. LEAVE TRAVEL CONCESSION / HOME TRAVEL CONCESSION:
1) The LTC shall be provided to all Judicial Officers:
a) Once in four years to any place in India;
b) For entitlement of first LTC, one must have put in not less than 5 years of continuous service;
c) No LTC shall be allowed within one year before retirement;
2) HTC: All Judicial Officers shall be provided HTC once in two years;
3) The entitlement for the journey would be according to the Rules in the respective States.

23. SPECIAL PAY: The High Courts to evolve a principle of paying "Special Pay" to such of those Judicial Officers who have considerable administrative work outside the Court hours.

24. CONCURRENT CHARGE ALLOWANCE: Charge allowance at 10% of the minimum of the time scale of the additional post held be paid to the Judicial Officer when he is placed in charge of another Court continuously beyond the period of ten working days and if he performs appreciable judicial work of that Court.

25. ENCASHMENT OF LEAVE AND LEAVE SALARY: Benefit of availing encashment of leave be extended to all Judicial Officers in all the States/UTs without insisting on the availment of leave simultaneously. Judicial Officers be allowed to encash leave not exceeding one month in a block period of two years. The encashment of leave be made tax-free.

26. HOUSING, HOUSE RENT ALLOWANCE AND RELATED ISSUES: All Judicial Officers, irrespective of their cadre, should be provided with Government quarters according to their entitlement. If adequate Government quarters are not available at a time, the Government shall requisition the proper houses and make available to the Judicial Officers. The house should be provided free of charge. Judicial Officers who occupy their own houses with the permission of the High Court are also entitled to H.R.A. at the same rate as provided to the corresponding Government employees. House provided to Judicial Officers must have separate space for 'Home Library' and the necessary books and the furniture of the Home Library shall be at the cost of the High Court. The Drawing Room of each such quarters/houses shall be reasonably furnished with a sofa set, carpet, teapoy and one or two side tables and chairs. The upholstery of every sofa-set should be changed once in three years.

A certain percentage of sites / houses, wherever they are available for allocation/allotment by the Housing Board /City Improvement / Development Authorities etc., should be ear-marked for allotment to Judicial Officers by the respective State Governments / UTs.

27. TELEPHONE FACILITIES: Every Court must be provided with a telephone with STD facilities. Every Judicial Officer must be provided with a telephone at his residence with STD facilities except to Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.) and Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.). Without prejudice to the existing benefits of the free telephone calls, the following limits of free calls to the different categories of Officers are recommended:

Sl. No. : Category : Free calls for 2 months at : Office : Residence
i)Principal Distt. Judge/Sessions Judge/
C.M.M. (STD facility both in office and residence) : 3,000 : 2,000
ii)Addl. Dist. Judge/Addl. Sessions Judge
(STD facility both in office and residence) : 2,000 : 1,000
iii)Civil Judge (Sr. Dn.) and C.J.M.
(STD facility to CJM both in office and residence) : 2,000 : 1,000
iv)Civil Judge (Jr. Dn.)/Magistrate : 1,500 : 750

28. ROBE ALLOWANCE: An amount of Rs.5,000/- be paid to every Judicial Officer as Robe Allowance once in five (5) years in lieu of other petty sums.

29. NEWSPAPER ALLOWANCE: All Judicial Officers be supplied with two Newspapers and one Magazine at State cost.

30. ADVANCES: All State Governments / UTs may adopt the limits prescribed by the Central Government for giving advances to Judicial Officers for construction / purchase of House. A rebate of ½ % in the interest on HBA as admissible in the case of Central Government employees for undergoing sterilisation operation may also be provided to Judicial Officers. Other Advances, if any, to the Judicial Officers in regard to matters not specifically covered herein, may be provided on the similar terms and conditions admissible to Central Government Officers.

31. ALL INDIA JUDICIAL SERVICE: The AIJS could be constituted only in the cadre of District Judges as per the provisions of Article 312(3) of the Constitution. The District Judges directly recruited and promoted should constitute the AIJS. The selection for direct recruitment should be by National Judicial commission / UPSC and promotees by the respective High Courts. The qualification for direct recruitment to AIJS should be in conformity with that prescribed under Article 233(2) of the Constitution - i.e., Advocate / Pleader who has got not less than 7 years Bar practice. Service Judges also should be allowed to compete for recruitment to AIJS, by appropriately amending Article 233(2) of the Constitution. The procedure for selection shall be by written examination followed by viva voce. The National Judicial Commission / UPSC, after selecting the candidates for direct recruitment to the cadre of District Judges, must allocate to the States / UTs, the candidates equal to the vacancies that are surrendered by them. The High Court thereupon will recommend those names to the Governor for appointment as per Article 233 of the Constitution.

32. PENSION STRUCTURE FOR PAST PENSIONERS: The Revised Pension of the Retired Judicial Officers should be 50% of the minimum pay of the post held at the time of retirement, as revised from time to time. There should not be any ceiling limit on the maximum pension payable. The Pensioners should be given the benefit of full neutralisation of the cost of living in the same scale as is being extended to the serving Judicial Officers. All retired Judicial Officers should be given a fixed monthly medical allowance of Rs.100/- to meet day-to-day medical expenses. All the medical facilities that we have recommended to serving Judicial Officers with regard to treatment and reimbursement of expenditure etc. be made applicable to retirees.

33. SUPERANNUATION AGE OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS: The retirement age has been recommended to be fixed at 60. Rules for re-employment till the age of 62 years in the cadre of District Judges can be framed in consultation with the High Court if vacancies exist. The Supreme Court, in the Review Judgment in the All India Judges’ Association Case (1993 (4) SCC 288), has enhanced the age of superannuation to 60 years with a rider of compulsorily retiring such Judicial Officers who are found not fit and eligible at the age of 58 years. Many of the High Courts have incorporated the directions of the Supreme Court in their respective Service Rules, including the provision for compulsory retirement at the age of 58 years, although the retirement age has been fixed at 60. High Courts have been recommended to supersede such Rules and to frame a Rule specifying only the age of retirement. When such a rule is framed without any further conditions, the directions of the Supreme Court to review the cases at 58 will not be applicable, as observed by the Supreme Court in “RAJAT BARAN ROY AND OTHERS v. STATE OF WEST BENGAL AND OTHERS” (1999) 4 SCC 235 at 240.

34. INCREASE IN STRENGTH: Existing vacancies in subordinate judiciary be filled up by 31.03.2003. The increase in strength to 50 Judges per 10 lakh population should be implemented in a phased manner within 5 years (By 21.03.2007). (Our Comment: Since population of Delhi is 1,38,50,507 as per 2001 Census, so 692 posts of Judges are required. In Delhi, there are 392 sanctioned posts, so 300 additional posts are to be created before 21.03.2007).35. EFFECTIVE TIME SCHEDULE: The actual monetary benefit shall be given only with effect from 1-7-1996. Benefit of other allowances be given with effect from 1-11-1999. In para 40 of the Judgement, it has been ordered that revised salary be paid from 1.7.2002. Arrears of salary between 1.7.1996 to 30.06.2002 be either paid in cash or be credited in Provident Fund Account and the credit be so spread to minimise income Tax liability.

5 Comments:

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Manisha said...

Quite informative.

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger DKT said...

Very Useful
Deepak Tiwari

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger prabhu said...

informative

 
At 3:02 AM, Blogger Ronu said...

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