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Lifetime domestic help, chauffeur for CJIs, SC judges after retirement

The most recent post-retirement benefits announced by the government state that an Indian chief justice will now receive a domestic helper, a chauffeur, and a secretarial assistant for life starting on the day he or she leaves office.

The Department of Justice in the Union Law Ministry announced in a new notification on Friday that the Supreme Court Judges Rules have been changed once more to provide retired CJIs and judges of the top court with more post-retirement benefits. On August 23, the rules underwent an earlier revision.

All living former CJIs and retired Supreme Court judges will be eligible to benefit from the modified rules.

A retired chief justice of India will now be entitled to 24-hour personal security guard service at their home for a period of five years following their retirement, per the most recent changes to the rules.

For a period of three years following the date of retirement, a retired Supreme Court judge will be entitled to 24-hour security coverage at his or her home in addition to a round-the-clock personal security guard.

According to threat perception, if a retired CJI or judge of the top court has already received “higher grade” security, “the higher grade security already provided shall continue.”

For a period of six months following the date of retirement, a retired CJI will be eligible for a rent-free Type-VII residence in Delhi (other than the designated official residence). Former Union ministers who are currently serving as MPs are typically given Type VII accommodations.

Earlier this month, the housing option was opened to retired CJIs.

A retired Supreme Court justice will have access to a housekeeper and a chauffeur starting on the day of retirement.

The ceremonial lounges that are available at airports for retired Supreme Court and CJI judges were also announced earlier this month.

By amending the High Court Judges Rules, the VIP lounge facility was also extended to retired chief justices of the high courts.

A retired Supreme Court justice or Chief Justice of India will be eligible for a residential phone “free of cost” as well as reimbursement for any telephone calls made from a residential phone, a mobile phone, a broadband connection, or a data card up to Rs 4,200 per month, plus taxes.

The notification stated, “If no such facilities are availed from any High Court or from any other government body where the retired Chief Justice or a retired Judge has taken up any assignment after retirement, then the post-retirement benefits under this rule shall be admissible to the retired Chief Justice (of India) or the retired Judge (of SC).”

The Supreme Court or a high court institution will be responsible for paying a large portion of the costs for domestic help, a chauffeur, a secretarial assistant, and phone reimbursement.

Former Chief Justice of India and senior court judges used to receive monthly financial benefits to pay for guards, domestic helpers, and chauffeurs. An official stated that the donation amount would end. For this purpose, retired Supreme Court judges received Rs 39,000 per month, while a retired CJI was entitled to Rs 70,000.

On August 23, the government amended the Supreme Court Judges Rules to give Chief Justices of India (CJI) and retired Supreme Court judges rent-free housing for six months after leaving office and round-the-clock security for one year after retirement.

CJI and Supreme Court judges also received a chauffeur service and a secretarial assistant for a year after retirement.

A functionary noted that while the Supreme Court is authorised to have 34 judges, three retire on average each year.

On August 23, the government changed the rules so that, for a year following retirement, a retired chief justice or retired Supreme Court judge would receive 24-hour personal security coverage in addition to round-the-clock security coverage at their residence.

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