Lok Sabha

December 7, 2021

Aparupa Poddar speaks on The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021

Aparupa Poddar speaks on The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021



Thank you Hon. Chairman Sir, for giving me an opportunity to speak on this High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill. 


When I stand to speak in the favour of this Bill, I make a small observation: the chair on which you are seated right above your head, it has a Sanskrit verse ‘Dharma Chakra Pravartana’ – the Buddha’s teachings which teach us about righteousness, justice and fairness.


Our polity and governance is supposed to follow the principles of Lord Buddha. But in reality, the picture is entirely different. The Bill that we are discussing today is a small Amendment Bill and the statement of objects and reasons state that it has been brought to provide clarity regarding interpretation of additional quantum of pension to judges covered under the Act. The Act is small but the issues surrounding the judiciary today are extremely worrying. Our ranking in the rule of law index has fallen to 79 in 2021 from 69 in 2020 out of 126 countries, which displays the sorry state of affairs of our system.


Now as a student of law in jurisprudence, we were taught about Dharma, Manu Smriti, which forces the rule of law.

  1.       Need for facilities for female lawyers and judges:

The Registry of Supreme Court of India has compiled data on the status of judicial infrastructure and court amenities, including size of courtroom, basic medical facilities, drinking water with purifiers, library and toilets. As per this data, 26% court complexes do not have separate ladies toilets. We talk about women empowerment and equal rights but we don’t even have adequate facilities for female lawyers. I would want to bring this to the notice of the Honorable Minister and ask him what steps he is taking.

  1.       National Judicial Infrastructure Authority:

A proposal has been received from the Chief Justice of India for setting up of National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India (NJIAI) for arrangement of adequate infrastructure for courts, as per which there will be a Governing Body with Chief Justice of India as Patron-in-Chief. The other salient features in the proposal are that NJIAI will act as a Central body in laying down the road map for planning, creation, development, maintenance and management of functional infrastructure for the Indian Court System, besides, identical structures under all the High Courts.

  1.       Creation of All India Judicial Services:

Provision to create an All India Judicial Service is provided for in Article 312 (1) of the Constitution. This will give an opportunity for induction of suitably qualified fresh legal talent selected through a proper all-India merit selection system as well as address the issue of social inclusion by enabling suitable representation to marginalized and deprived sections of society.

  1.       Gram Nyayalayas:

The pace of establishment of Gram Nyayalayas has been very slow, and as against the target of 2500 Gram Nyayalayas under the XII Five Year Plan, only 402 Gram Nyayalayas have been notified by 12 States so far and out of these only 255 are functional. I request the Government to conduct a third party evaluation and proposal to re-launch the scheme with revised guidelines for its effective implementation.

  1.       Judge to Population Ratio:

The judge-population ratio in the country is not very appreciable. While for the other countries, the ratio is about 50-70 judges per million people, in India it is 20 judges per million heads. So we are making laws in the House but the number of judges who are going to give us the judgment are very few.


Sir, I would like to know from the Hon. Minister why Justice Joymalya Bagchi, who was transferred back to his parent High Court, Calcutta High Court, in September 2021, from Andhra Pradesh High Court where he was serving as a judge since January 2021, there was a months delay in notifying his appointment and what was the reason that within nine months he has been shifted again from Andhra to Calcutta High Court.

This I request the Minister to answer. 


Thank you Sir.