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Report No. 189

Is it fair on the part of State to charge Court fee for judicial services?

(Views of Commissions, Judicial dicta, views of Jurists)

There is considerable authority to say that the very concept of charging Court fee for rendering judicial services is no longer acceptable today.

Law Commission's Reports

In this regard, following recommendations of the Law Commission made in 14th Report (para 42 p. 509) are also worth mentioning:

"(1) It is one of the primary duties of the State to provide the machinery for the administration of justice and on principle it is not proper for the State to charge fees from suitors in courts.

(2) Even if court fees are charged, the revenue derived from them should not exceed the cost of the administration of civil justice.

(3) The making of profit by the State from the administration of justice is not justified.

(4) Steps should be taken to reduce court fees so that the revenue from it is sufficient to cover the cost of the civil judicial establishment. Principles analogous to those applied in England should be applied to measure the cost of such establishment.

The salaries of judicial officer should be charged on the general tax payer."

The Law Commission in its 128th Report on Cost of Litigation (1988), has observed that high cost of litigation is one of the impediments or road blocks in access to justice. The court fee was considered as the most important component of cost of litigation.

Revision of Court Fees Structure Back

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