Law Minister Kiren Rijiju to discuss judicial facilities with State Ministers

“Judicial infrastructure is one of the agenda items for the meeting ... It is my responsibility to take the state governments on board,” Rijiju told reporters.   | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

Days after Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana talked about judicial infrastructure being key to improving access to justice, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said the issue of would be taken up next month at a conference of State Law Ministers.

“Judicial infrastructure is one of the agenda items for the meeting ... It is my responsibility to take the State governments on board,” Mr. Rijiju told The Hindu.

Under State govts

Development of physical infrastructure of the High Courts and the lower courts primarily comes under the domain of State governments.

On October 23, while inaugurating two wings of the annexe building at the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, Chief Justice Ramana had asked the government to bring the proposed National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India (NJIAI) in the winter session of Parliament and give it a statutory backing.

The CJI, in the presence of the Union Law Minister, had said judicial infrastructure was often an afterthought and was done in an ad-hoc manner.

“We are faced with certain hard facts like several courts do not have proper facilities. Some courts function out of dilapidated buildings. Judicial infrastructure is important for improving access to justice,” Justice Ramana had said.

Law Ministry sources, however, claimed that the State Law Ministers’ conference was planned even before the CJI made the remarks on judicial infrastructure.

Central funds

The sources cited above pointed that the Union Cabinet in July had given a five year extension to a centrally sponsored scheme (CSS) for developing infrastructure for the judiciary.

The CSS, in operation since 1993-94, has budgeted ₹9,000 crore for the five year period between April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2026 and of this, ₹5,357 crore would be the Centre’s share including ₹50 crore for the Gram Nyayalaya Scheme.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 4:29:00 PM |

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