High Court Judges are constitutional functionaries who are allotted spacious official accommodation commensurate
with their status in the society. What is more important and relevant for the purposes of this PIL is - those, who do not know what the Judges do beyond Court hours, may be surprised , if not amazed, to find that what the Judges do in Court rooms during Court hours is just a part of their onerous judicial work. Beyond Court hours, Judges not merely dictate the reserved judgments or edit and correct the judgments and orders dictated in open Court, but Judges also read case papers, law books and law reports at home. A Judge does not merely remain aloof from the society; very often his family members find the Judge cogitating on matters pending before him for hearing or pending for judgments, with such concentration and intensity that he is only physically present within four walls of the house. Judges accordingly need space, both physical as well as mental, which would permit them to concentrate on their judicial work beyond Court hours. It is, therefore, in the fitness of things that in stead of occupying small flats of 1076 sq.ft. each at a far away place, Sitting Judges occupy spacious official accommodation in the vicinity of the High Court. The time that would otherwise be spent in commuting in the City of Mumbai is, therefore, better utilized by investing the same in doing additional work, which is a part of their official work of judging. All these advantages may be lost if they have to reside in small flats constructed by respondents Nos. 3 & 4 -societies. We also take judicial notice of the fact that the Judges who occupy official accommodation do not get house rent allowance available to Judges occupying private accommodation under the provisions of Section 22A(2) of the High Court Judges (Salary and Conditions of Service) Act 1954.
45. As regards the retired Judges, they cannot be singled out as there are also several retired government officers/employees and others who are getting the benefit of clause 10 of Appendix B to the aforesaid Government Resolution dated 9 July 1999. Since hundreds of cooperative housing societies of government officers/employees and persons in other walks of life are not before us, we do not propose to express any opinion on this issue except to state that this is a policy matter for the State Government to re-examine.