judges’ pay hike
SC annoyed at delayM Moneruzzaman
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday said it was disappointed that the government was delaying implementation of the recommendations of the parliamentary sub-committee and the Judicial Service Pay Commission to hike remunerations and privileges of the judges at the apex court and its subordinate courts.
The full bench of all seven judges, chaired by the chief justice, Md Muzammel Hossain, expressed the dissatisfaction after the attorney general, Mahbubey Alam, failed to submit a compliance report on the court’s February 2009 directives, including the progress in implementation of the recommendations to increase the judges’ salaries, sent to the government on April 13, 2008 by the Judicial Service Pay Commission.
The attorney general told the court that the government had implemented many directives laid down in its verdict delivered in the Masder Hossain case and needed time to implement the rest as it was a continuous process.
He also said that he had no instructions from the government on the case as it came up for hearing after many days.
The court observed that there was no headway since the directives were issued on February 2, 2009 by its four-member bench, chaired by the then chief justice, MM Ruhul Amin.
Referring to the recommendations the parliamentary sub-committee concerned made in February 2010 to raise the salaries and allowances of the Supreme Court judges, the chief justice said that he had heard that the recommendations had been sent to the cabinet division but there was no further development.
The chief justice told the attorney general that the government had promoted many officials in the executive branch to the ranks of additional secretary, joint secretary and deputy secretary beyond the sanctioned posts, but it was not giving appointments to the vacant posts in the judiciary.
The government appointed only 50 judicial officials against a Supreme Court recommendation for 200 appointments, said the chief justice.
He also observed that promotions in the lower judiciary were not being given on the basis of seniority which the Supreme Court always refers.
More than one official have been promoted against a single post in the secretariat but no vacancies of district judges in many districts are being filled, the chief justice said.
Referring to the article 116 of the constitution, he said the constitution conferred the authority of promotions, postings and appointments in the subordinate courts on the Supreme Court. ‘This exists in papers, not in reality.’
‘We are facing such questions everyday but we can’t do,’ the chief justice told the Mahbub, the chief law officer of the government, in the one-hour hearing when six other judges of the full bench were listening.
The Supreme Court’s directives also said that the ministries of law and finance must take all necessary step to implement the decisions of National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reforms so that initially at least all chief judicial magistrates of greater districts were provided with cars and drivers before the end of 2008-2009 fiscal year and the rest in the next financial years.
It also directed construction of buildings for the newly created judicial magistracy in the districts and metropolitan areas.
‘ We need to know from the government functionaries about the pay structure of the judges of the sub-ordinate courts as of December 2, 1999, and the implementation of the decision of the Pay Commission and subsequent developments, including the fate of the recommendations of the commission,’ the court said in its the directives.
The Bangladesh Judicial Pay Commission Rule 2007 was framed in line with the 12-point directive laid down by the Supreme Court on December 2, 1999 in the Masder Hossain case. The judiciary was separated from the executive branch on November 1, 2007 in line with the directive.
After the hearing, the Appellate Division said the case would come up in the cause-list on June 11 and asked the attorney general to inform the court about the government’s instructions over the issues.
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