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Report No. 14

Section F

(i) Costs

135. Do you agree with the principle that costs awarded to a successful party should be a fair indemnity for the expenses incurred by him in asserting or defending his legal right? If so, do the costs awarded in your State to the successful litigant give him such an indemnity? If not, have you any measures to suggest by which the disparity between the costs awarded to a litigant and the amount he should be entitled to by way of a fair indemnity is eliminated?

(ii) Court Fees

136. Do you agree with the general principle that the vindication of legal rights in the courts of law of the State should be made easy and a nominal court fee only should be charged to the citizen for the vindication of his rights in a court of law?

137. Would the introduction of such a principle in this country give rise to a mass of frivolous litigation?

138. Are you in favour of the system prevailing in many States under which the system of administration of justice is a source of revenue and profit to the State? Do you approve of the costs of administering justice in criminal courts being made a charge on the civil litigant? Would you relate the scale of fees chargeable in civil cases to the actual cost of the administration of civil justice? If so, what heads of expenses would you include in such costs?

139. Would you favour the levy of a single composite court fee at the initiation of the proceedings and the total abolition of such fees at subsequent stages on various items such as certified copies, Government records, applications for adjournments, etc? Would not the abolition of the latter tend to a reduction of the administrative staff and a simplified and a quicker system of administration of justice?

140. Would you favour the levy of reduced court fees in first appeals?

141. Would you advocate a proportionate refund of the court fees in cases which are settled before the framing of issues?

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