The Supreme Court, today, gave a last and final opportunity to States in default to file a compliance affidavit regarding payment of allowances, arrears and revised salaries to the judicial officers in the country in light of the judgment passed by the Court on January 4, 2024, and implementation of the recommendation of the Second National Judicial Pay Commission ('SNJPC).

The Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra directed, "A Note has been submitted by the Amicus, indicating non-compliance of this Court's orders. Though seven opportunities have been granted to the States, it appears that full compliance has not been affected. All the States in default have been highlighted. We direct that a meeting be convened on next Tuesday, so that in case compliance is still to be affected, it is completed no later than August 15. A compliance affidavit shall be first shared with the CSCDJ and thereafter before this Court indicating compliance failing which this Court will be constrained to adopt contempt proceedings against the officers of the State if full compliance is not been effected."

Amicus Curiae K Parameshwar submitted that even after several opportunities given by the Court, several States have not yet complied with directions given in January 2024. The Court had directed the implementation of the recommendation of the SNJPC.

The Court further ordered, "We are usually circumspect in directing the presence of the officers of the State. However, this is a situation where the administrative officers in the Executive has received the revision of their pay and other allowances with effect from January 1, 2016. Judicial Officers are yet to receive their revised pay scales, allowances and the arrears which are due to them in terms of SNJPC, though eight years have elapsed. As we have already noted, despite multiple opportunities there have been non-compliance. It is in this backdrop that we are compelled to pass the above order."

Amicus submitted, "Andhra there is substantial non-compliance. Most judicial officers have not received revised allowances...Then Bombay, most of which is in compliance except for the part where TDS is concerned."

CJI asked, "Which are the States which have not complied?"

Amicus answered, "Calcutta. There is an IA for extension of time."

Counsel on behalf of State of West Bengal, " I am only requesting some more time...I dont want to come back and take more time."

CJI said, "It has to be. Because seven opportunities have been granted. All States have paid. How can West Bengal say we will not? You say, Look, then you can sit at home, will not take any work judicial officers. They all are working there...How much have you paid?"

Amicus intervened and said, "The States are very smart...none of them will say how many judicial officers are there. They will only say we have complied."

CJI ordered, "There has been a non-compliance by the State of West Bengal with the orders of this Court. One years time is sought for effecting the compliance which is unreasonable. We extend time for compliance until 20 August 2024. The proceeding shall be listed on 23 August 2024 on which date both the Chief Secretary and the Finance Secretary of the State of West Bengal will remain present before this Court with Affidavit indicating compliance."

Amicus further submitted, "Just want to bring to your notice, all States Governments and Union Government...they are at the threshold of next Pay Commission i.e. 2026, and yet our Judicial Officers after eight years-nine years have not received."

In the case of the State of Chhattisgarh, the Amicus said, "Again the same thing...they will say they are considering whether to grant those allowances or not. I dont understand this...with all due respect...there is a Supreme Court's Judgment. They mention the judgment of the Court dated 04.12.2024 and then say they will consider it...All is clear from the judgment. Their is no question of deviation from the judgment.."

The Court said that there is no date in the Government Order mentioning the date of compliance with the judgment and out of 20 allowances only 11 have been sanctioned. The Court directed, "The conduct of Chhattisgarh is plainly unacceptable. Despite seven opportunities, the judgment of this Court has not been complied with. We direct the personal presence of the Chief Secretary and the Finance Secretary of the State of Chhattisgarh before this Court on August 23, 2024, together with affidavits of compliance failing which the Court will be constrained to exercise its contempt jurisdiction."

Similar orders including direction for personal appearance were passed for the State of NCT of Delhi, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand.

Counsel for the Assam stated that a notification was issued for payment of fourteen allowances. He has also submitted that due to floods there is a genuine situation. The Court refused to grant any extension.

Allowances recommended by the SNJPC are as follows: House Building Advance, Children Education Allowance, City Compensatory Allowance, Concurrent Charges Allowance, Conveyance/Transport Allowance, Dearness Allowance, Earned Leave, Encashment, Electricity and Water Charges, Higher Qualification Allowance, Hill Area/Tough Location Allowance, Home Orderly/Domestic Help Allowance, House Rent Allowance and Residential Quarters, Leave Travel Concession(LTC)/Home Travel Concession(HTC), Medical Allowance/Medical Facilities, Newspaper and Magazine Allowances, Risk Allowance, Robe Allowance, Special Pay for Administrative Work, Sumptuary Allowance, Telephone Facility and Transfer Grant.

Cause Title: All India Judges Association v. Union of India and Ors. (W.P.(C) No. 643/2015)