Kochi, Apr 29 (PTI): Amid the controversial decision of the Kerala government to cut salaries of its employees, the Registrar General of the High Court has said that the state government cannot recover any amount from the emoluments of the Chief Justice and judges through an executive order.
The Registrar General wrote to the Chief Secretary in this regard after the government on April 22 ordered deferring disbursement of salaries for six days every month from April to August 2020 of all officials who draw their wages from the consolidated fund of the state, as part of the finance conservation measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
'It may be noted that, as per Article 221 of the Constitution of India, the salaries are paid to the Honourable judges as determined by Parliament and they shall not be varied to their disadvantage after the appointment.
Therefore the salaries and allowances of the Hon'ble Chief Justice and judges cannot be varied or deferred by the Government, through an executive order,' the letter dated April 27, said.
The letter also said the Chief Justice has already taken the initiative to collect amounts from the judges for making donations to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).
Meanwhile, the Kerala government on Wednesday decided to issue an ordinance, empowering it to deduct salaries of its employees to mobilise funds to fight COVID-19 in the state.
The move came a day after the High Court had stayed an order of the LDF government for salary cut of its employees, observing that it lacked legal backing.
The government had on April 22 decidedto deduct the salaries of all government employees for six days every month for the next five monthsto meet the serious financial crisis it was facing due to COVID-19.
All elected representatives -- Ministers, MLAs, different Boards under the Government and members of Local Self Government bodies would take a 30 per cent cut in their monthly salary and honorariums for a year. PTI COR TGB APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH