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Report No. 189

(a) Views of the Supreme Court, the Law Commission and Judicial Pay Commission

There is need that whatever amount is collected in the form of court fees, should be spent on administration of justice. The Supreme Court has observed that the income from court fees is more than the expenditure made in the administration of justice, as per figures made available in the publication of the Ministry of Law and Justice. The Supreme Court in All India Judges Association v. Union of India, AIR 1992 SC 164, after analyzing the concept of Court fees and quoting from a judgment of a Constitution Bench reported in AIR 1973 SC 724, observed as follows (at para 51):

"We adverted to these authorities and the views of this Court to bring support for the view that what is collected as court fee at least be spent on the administration of justice instead of being utilized as a source of general revenue of the States. Undoubtedly, the income from court fees is more than the expenditure on the administration of justice. This is conspicuously noticeable from the figures available in the publication in the Ministry of Law and Justice."

(emphasis supplied)

States are not spending much on the administration of justice. Law Commission in 127th Report on Resource Allocation for Infrastructural Services in Judicial Administration (1988) has stated (at para 5.8): "it is imperative to point out that the State today spends precious little or, to say the least, practically nothing on the administration of justice". The Commission has pointed out that during 1981-82 barring Manipur and Tripura most of the States spent only between 0.15% (A.P.) to 3.53% (M.P.) of the total tax receipts of the State, on the administration of justice. These figures show that administration of justice has received negligible funds for upkeep as well as its growth.

The first National Pay Judicial Commissio chaired by Mr. Justice K.J. Shetty, in its Report dated 11.11.1999 has stated that the expenditure on the judiciary in India in terms of Gross National Product (GNP) is relatively low. It is not more than 0.2%. The Justice Shetty Commission also recommended that as the administration of justice is the joint responsibility of the Centre and the State Governments, the Central Govt. must, in every State share half on the annual expenditure on subordinate Courts. The Supreme Court in All India Judge's Association case (2002) 4 SCC 247, has stated that no doubt whenever the State Govt. will approach to the Central Govt. or Planning Commission for more funds, such request shall be considered favourably.

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