Paltry increase in budget for judiciary and its infrastructure

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The union budget for 2016-17 has earmarked Rs.900 crore for the development of judicial infrastructure in the states, merely Rs.93.35 crore higher from Rs. 806.65 crores allocated in 2015-16.

The allocation also includes budgetary provision for the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms and the administration of justice. This includes allocation of Rs.256 crore for the second phase of E-courts.

The allocation of funds for the development of judicial infrastructure was Rs. 500 crore in 2015-16 but has been scaled down to Rs.460 crore in 2016-17. However, allocation for northeastern areas have seen more than threefold increase from Rs.24.36 crores in 2015-16 to Rs.90 crore in 2016-17.

A sum of Rs.140 crore has been earmarked for National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and Rs. 122.21 crore under the head of “other programmes” that includes expenditure on attorney general, solicitor general, additional solicitor general and fee of government advocates.

This also includes allocation for the National Judicial Academy, International Centre for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ICADR), infrastructural facilities for judiciary in union territories without legislatures and secretariat expenditure of Law Commission and others.

The allocation for the Supreme Court under non-plan head is Rs.198.89 crore which is higher by Rs.18.87 crore compared to the allocation of Rs.171.02 crore earmarked in the revised budget estimates.

The allocation is to take care of the administrative expenditure of the top court including salaries and travel expenses of the chief justice of India and other judges, staff and officers of the apex court registry, departmental canteen, charges for the deployment of security personnel including security equipment, maintenance of CCTVs and printing of annual report and other expenses.

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