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Report No. 189

Revision of Court Fees Structure

Chapter I

Introduction

The Reference

The Department of Legal Affairs, with approval of Hon'ble Minister of Law & Justice, has referred to the Law Commission, the matter relating to the 'upward revision of court fees structure vis-à-vis the need to build financial disincentives to discourage vexatious litigation', vide O.M. No.A- 60011/14/2003/Admn.III LA, dated Feb. 11, 2003. The Department of Legal Affairs was requested by the Department of Justice vide its letter No.L-11018/1/2002-Jus. dated 29.8.2002 for referring this matter of revision of court fees structure, to the Law Commission.

It was suggested in the meeting of Standing Committee of Secretaries, held on 19th July, 2002, that there is a need to build financial disincentives in the legal system so as to discourage vexatious litigation. Accordingly, it was decided in that meeting that this suggestion may be referred to the Law Commission for its consideration. It was informed to the Standing Committee, that the court fees in majority of cases had not been revised for a very long time and currently covered only a fraction of the administrative costs of the judicial process.

The Department of Justice, in its above mentioned letter has also expressed the similar view. It is stated in the letter, that the court fees has not been revised for a very long time, although valuation of Rupee has came down tremendously compared to the valuation in the year 1870 when the Court Fees Act came into force. It is observed that it was also informed to the Standing Committee that the Central Government is concerned with court fees payable in the Supreme Court and other courts situated in the Union Territories. This is the view of the Deptt. of Justice also.



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