ISLAMABAD: Following in the footsteps of the Lahore High Court (LHC), the registrar of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has also released the details of judges’ salaries and other perks and privileges while responding to an RTI request filed under the provision of KP Right to Information Act, 2013.
The applicant, Zahid Abdullah, a resident of Islamabad, filed an RTI request under the provision of KP Right to Information Act 2013 for making the salaries and other perks and privileges of judges of the PHC public. The registrar of the PHC on April 25, 2017 released the details of perks and privileges of the judges.
According to the information provided by the PHC while quoting the president’s order of 2010, “The salary to be paid per mensem to the chief justice of a high court shall be Rs361,238 and that to be paid to every other judge of a high court shall be Rs347,345. Similarly, the judges of the high court shall be entitled of a house and its maintenance and other utility bills throughout his term of office.” Similarly, as per the president’s order of 2010, the judges are entitled of a 1,300 to 1,800cc car, 500 litres of petrol. The letter issued by the PHC further shows that from July 2011, the salary of the chief justice of a high court was raised to Rs415,424 and Rs399,447 for the judges of the apex court. The judges are also entitled of superior judicial allowance of Rs156,975, however, this is applicable only for the chief justice or acting chief justice.
As per the information provided by the PHC, the judges have been provided some other perks and privileges including the expenditure while travelling on duty and the return air ticket for the wife of the judges will also be provided if she travels with the judges of the apex courts for less than a month. The medical treatment of the judges and their immediate family including spouses and kids is free. As per the information provided by the PHC, the judges including chief justice and the judges of the high courts are exempted from the body search at the airports.
It is pertinent to mention here that the LHC has already released the details of judges’ salaries and other perks and privileges last month. The LHC Chief Justice, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, has made his salary/perks public under the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013.
According to the information released by the LHC, the chief justice of LHC draws Rs1.0538 million per month salary, which includes substantive pay of Rs713,280, special judicial allowance of Rs269,525 and medical allowance of Rs67,733. According to the statement issued by the LHC, the chief justice does not receive entitled monthly house rent as he lives in an official residence.
Zahid Abdullah, an RTI practitioner, who filed the information request to the PHC for releasing the details of salaries and other perks and privileges of the judges, while talking to The News said it was a good initiative and other government institutions should follow the same.
“Though the PHC has provided information of judges’ salary and other perks and privileges but it is not updated and contains the salary figures of 2010. However, even then it is a welcome move by the apex court. We have filed another RTI request to the PHC for ensuring the same information is put on its website under Section 5 of the KP Right to Information Act 2013 so that the people could easily access any such information,” Zahid said.
“As this info is provided under Section 2 (i)(viii) which says that any entity that performs public function is a public body under KP RTI law 2013. It means that it is now established that all those entities that perform public functions will have to provide the information to citizens,” Zahid said.