By:Mohan Lal Verma
Less than a fortnight Himachal Pradesh High Court rapped the state for non-implementation of the Shetty Commission recommendations for the non-judicial employees, the state assembly today passed the amendment bill to implement it.
With this, a controversy shrouding over the increase in wages of the subordinate courts have finally been resolved.
The development is significant as the High Court on 16th March, 2015 directed the state government to implement the recommendations of the National Judicial Pay Commission, also known as the Shetty commission, within two weeks.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan also issued contempt notices to the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (finance) and the Principal Secretary (law) on failing to comply with the court’s earlier orders dated January 3, 2014. Interestingly, the bill was passed with a voice vote without any debate on the same day when the court had summoned the government functionaries to appear personally.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who introduced the bill, said the High Court set aside section 3 of the Himachal Pradesh Subordinate Courts’ Employees (Pay, Allowance and other conditions of Service) Act of 2005 to the extent that it overrules the directions of the Supreme Court to implement the Shetty Commission recommendations. The High court also directed to implement the recommendations of the Shetty Commission from April 1, 2003.
“In order to comply with the directions of the high court, it has been decided to amend section 3 of the Act and to substitute the schedule appended to the act,” the chief minister said. Further, he said, a proviso is also proposed to be inserted below sub-section (I) of section-3 of the act to allow one additional increment to the categories of employees to whom the Shetty Commission has not recommended higher pay scale.
The chief minister said the bill, if enacted, would result in the annual financial implication of Rupees 1 crore other than arrears from April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2014. He said the total financial implications including arrears would be approximately Rupees 943,010,14.