Charge higher fee for rich in court: parliamentary panel

Charge higher fee for rich in court: parliamentary panel

 The courts should charge the rich and corporate litigants a premium fee, and use the extra money to fund infrastructure in lower courts, a Parliamentary panel has said.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma, made the recommendation in a report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. The suggestion is contained in its action-taken report on earlier recommendations.

“The committee is of the view that the rich and corporates should be charged at a premium rate for civil and taxation cases,” the panel said, so that surplus funds can improve the subordinate judiciary, where cases of the poor are pending.

The committee’s observation came after the government expressed its inability to set up a National Judicial Infrastructure Fund to develop infrastructure of subordinate courts.

One of the proposed sources of funding was enhanced court fees, but the government had said such a system would violate the finance ministry guidelines on creating reserve and corpus funds.

The government said it had therefore dropped the proposal and replaced it with a centrally sponsored scheme for infrastructure development.

‘They can afford it’

The committee had even earlier asked the government to find avenues to generate revenue for infrastructure development.

In a report in April 2015, the committee had said big corporate houses were “getting remedy by paying (the) negligible court fees” fixed by the Supreme Court. A big chunk of the court’s time and resources is used for them, it had observed.

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