Law Ministry proposes cess to fund legal reforms

Law Ministry proposes cess to fund legal reforms

"The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed as a society which will be fully funded by the Central government.
"It may also, in the future, be funded from an appropriate tax, say a legal reform cess that will be applicable to all citizens of the country, on the lines of the existing education cess," a Law Ministry proposal on judicial reforms said.|

The Government, for past few years, is charging two per cent surcharge on Income Tax under education cess.
The proposal is part of the National Mission for Delivery of Justice and Legal Reforms and has been cleared by the Union Cabinet.
The SPV will "define and implement" an action plan to provide timely justice to all, the proposal said adding that it aims at reducing the pendency of cases, or arrears, from 15 years to three years by means of various innovative strategies, initiatives and definitive action plans.

The SPV has a target to eliminate all arrears from the Indian judicial system by December 31, 2012. All cases pending as on January 1, 2009 will be treated as arrears.

The SPV's Board of Governors will have appropriate representation from the academia, the government and the industry, and will be run professionally by executives who have a management background and extensive specialised experience in managing various functions of an organisation.

The chief executive of the SPV will report to the board of governors of the National Mission for Delivery of Justice and Legal Reform. The SPV will also have engineers, architects and information technology experts as part of its team.

According to the proposal, the executive team of the SPV will have well defined terms of reference, goals and objectives, mechanism to report progress, issue management and performance management framework.

The executive team will have freedom and flexibility to work towards its goals and will report only to the Board of Directors for strategic control and decision making, according to the proposal.