High Court stays order on Kerala government’s decision to reduce judges’ salaries by 10k

The petition by the judges alleged that the order turning ‘special pay’ to ‘special allowance’ will reduce their salaries significantly

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Kerala High Court has put a stay on the state government’s order that reportedly turns ‘special pay’ for judges to ‘special allowances’, thus reducing their salary significantly. The HC deemed the order as being prima facie unsustainable.

Justice VG Arun directed the state to keep the operation and its implantation in abeyance until there’s a further order. Kerala Judicial Officers’ had filed the petition to the High Court through senior advocate K Jaju Babu.

In the petition, the judges alleged that the government order could mean a reduction of about Rs 10,000 in their salaries because dearness allowance is granted only for ‘special pay’ and not for ‘special allowances’. The bench said that the government had issued the order, “undeterred by the observations of the Division Bench and unmindful of its own order and in an apparent attempt to deny the benefit of special pay to the judicial officers.”

The ‘special pay’ was added for the judicial officers because of their administrative work along with the judicial work. The move was based on the fact that the Supreme Court had directed the state government to implement the Shetty Commission recommendations.

The order, which was issued on 23 March, 2022 did not include retired judicial officers. After listening to the judges who first complained about the order, a division bench had said that the judiciary is placed above the administrative executive in the constitution, and any attempt to put it above the former will not be entertained.

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