The Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley announced the Union Budget 2017-18 which contained the allocation of just Rs. 1, 7744.13 CR for the administration of justice including justice delivery, legal reforms, development of infrastructural facilities and autonomous bodies associated with legal matters and education.
- The present allocation is less than one percent of the total budget i.e. Rs 21.47 lakh crore. There have been on average allocation of 0.4 % of the total budget.
- This is grossly inadequate for the judiciary which sees long pendency and backlog of cases, suffers from lack of infrastructure.
- There is an allocation of Rs 432.50 crore for the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms including Action Research and Studies on Judicial Reforms, e-Courts Phase II, Strengthening of Access to Justice in India (SAJI).
- The autonomous institutions like International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR), National Judicial Academy, National Legal Services Authority, Indian Law Institute (ILI), Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies (ICPS), are being allocated with Rs 118.03 crore.
CHIEF JUSTICES’ TAKE:
- Former CJI R.M. Lodha said in 2014: “Budget allocation is not even one per cent. It is 0.4 per cent. How do we construct more courts and improve infrastructure for speedy dispensation of justice.
- Former CJI Sathasivam said: Budget allocation for judiciary is a serious concern. In so far as the Supreme Court is concerned, the government is not providing sufficient budget and, time and again, the Chief Justice has to intervene to seek sufficient allocation of Budget.”
A MAJOR TAKE BY CHIEF JUSTICE S.H. KAPADIA IN 2010 :
His suggestion is worth acting upon as he said: that court fees, fines imposed in criminal courts and costs imposed by courts which go to the government’s coffers be given to be used by the judiciary.