Report No. 128
Ad valorem Court Fee
4. Keeping in view the financial constraints, the system of levy in court fee on ad valorem basis on money suits and other items such as application for grants of probate/ letter of administration and issue of succession certificate may continue for the present.
5. The rate structure of ad valorem fee on money suits in different States may be reviewed and revised so that the rate tapers from 10 per cent. in the lowest slab to 1 per cent. of the highest slab. It may be left to the State Governments to determine the slabs for different tapering rates. This, however, does not imply that where the rate is lower, it should be raised to 10 per cent. The 10 percent ad valorem rate at the lowest slab is the maximum limit.
6. Though there is no legal requirement to have a ceiling on court fee, it is desirable to have a ceiling in States where there is no such ceiling. A ceiling of Rs. 30,000 on court fee would be appropriate.
7. The Committee does not recommend any differential rates of court fee as between individuals and companies/corporate bodies.
8. The rate of court fee on application for grant of probate/letter of administration may be as under:-
Value of property
Rate of Court Fee
|(i) upto Rs. 1 Lakh||No fee|
|(ii) Above Rs. 1 lakh but not more than Rs. 2 lakhs||1% of the value in excess of Rs. 1 lakh|
|(iii) Above Rs. 2 Lakhs||Fee for Rs. 2 lakhs, plus 1% to 5% of the remainder; (5% being the maximum); (Tapering rate for different slabs to be determined by State Governments).|
|(i) Upto Rs. 1 lakh||No fee|
|(ii) Above Rs. 1 lakh||¼ % of the value in excess of Rs. 1 lakh|
Note. - The Para Nos. indicated relate to the above mentioned Report of the Committee.
9. The court fee on application for issue of succession certificate under the Indian Succession Act, 1925 may be as under:-
|(i) Upto Rs. 25,000||No fee|
|(ii) Above Rs. 25,000||1% to 5% of the value in excess of Rs. 25,000 (5% being the maximum. Tapering rate for different slabs to be determined suitably by the State Governments)|
|(i) Upto Rs. 25,000||No fee|
|(ii) Above Rs. 25,000||¼ % of the value in excess of Rs. 25,000|
10. The present system of levying fee on applications for review of judgment may continue.
11. The court fee on first as well as second appeals should be 50 per cent. of the fee leviable on the original suit, whether the appeal is by the plaintiff or the defendant in the original suit.
12. Litigants having annual income upto Rs. 6,000 may be exempted from payment of court fee. If a State Government is in position to exempt litigants having income higher than Rs. 6,000, it may do so, keeping in view the overall impact such an exemption may have. As regards proof of income an affidavit by the plaintiff may be accepted.
13. If a State Government finds it feasible to exempt:
(i) Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe litigants who have income higher than Rs. 6,000 a year, or
(ii) Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes as a class, from payment of court fee, it may do so.
14. Women may be exempted from payment of court fee in matrimonial cases.
(Paras. 14 and 28.2)
15. Children may be exempted from the payment of court fee on suits for maintenance.
16. The recommendation for exempting litigants with annual income limit of Rs. 6000 would take care of the interests of most of the indigent litigants. The existing provision for exempting on indigent person from payment of court fee and for realizing the same in case his suit fails or is withdrawn or is dismissed or when it abates may continue to apply in the case of indigents, if any, with annual income above Rs. 6,000.
17. The income limit of Rs. 6,000 per annum recommended by this Committee (vide para. 12.4) for exempting litigants from payment of court fee would take care of the genuinely need people amongst socially/economically weaker classes.
18. The interests of those living in backward States will be taken care of by the general scheme of exemption recommended by the Committee on the basis of income limit.
19. Economically handicapped among the physically and mentally handicapped persons will be taken care of the recommendation made with regard to exemption based on income.
20. General scheme of exemption based on the limit of income will largely cover the interests of landless persons, debtors bringing suits and proceedings under Money Lenders' Acts.
21. The General Scheme of exemption recommendation by the Committee on the basis of annual income should take care of the interests of most of the agriculturists who need assistance. So far as relief during drought etc. is concerned the Committee recommends that remission may by given be the State Governments as and when the situation so demands.
22. (i) It may not be fair to give any special treatment to Government servant& They should stand on the same footing as other litigants.
(ii) No exemption need be given to employees as a class from payment of court fee on matters pertaining to service conditions.
23. The general exemption based on income limit will be available to workers too as it will be available to others.
24. All litigants who file cases before the Nyaya Panchayats may be exempted from payment of court fee, if not exempted already.
25. It will not be a practicable proposition to exempt suits of a given value from court fee.
26. Legal aid cases (except cases in which such aid is given also to persons having income of more than Rs. 6,000 a year) will automatically be covered by the recommendation made for exemption based on annual income limit.
27. To exempt a litigant from payment of court fee or to reduce fee on a suit for recovery of possession of a house owned by him even if that be the only house he has, is not practicable and accordingly not recommended.