Supreme Court summons CS, finance secy of defaulting states for non-compliance of pay panel's report

Though seven opportunities have been granted to the states, it appears that full compliance has not been affected and several states are in default, the court said.
Last Updated : 11 July 2024, 14:30 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued summons against the Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary of 16 states, while expressing its displeasure over non-compliance of the Second National Judicial Pay Commission recommendations on the payment of arrears of pension to the judicial officers.

"We are not sending them to jail but let them be here," a bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said.

The bench said the court had already given several opportunities to the states, but it appeared that full compliance had not been affected and many states were in default.

The court directed the top officers of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Odisha and Rajasthan to appear before it on August 23.

The bench also warned the officers that it would be constrained to initiate contempt if they fail to comply with its direction.

Advocate K Parameshwar, assisting the court as amicus curiae, cited the deduction of tax at source by the states on allowances which are due to the present and retired judicial officers.

The bench said wherever exemptions are available under the Income Tax Act from deduction of TDS (tax deducted at source) on allowances, the state governments shall ensure that no deductions are made.

The court declined to accept the contention of states seeking one more year’s time in complying with the recommendations on payment of arrears and other benefits to the judicial officers.

The bench, however, directed the defaulting states to report compliance by August 20 and asked their Chief Secretaries and Finance Secretaries to appear personally on August 23.

In a judgment in January this year, the court had said there was a need to maintain uniformity in service conditions of judicial officers across the country.

Published 11 July 2024, 14:30 IST

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