The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for the development of infrastructure facilities of the judiciary for a further five years from April 1 this year to March 31, 2026.
With an aim to develop a well-equipped judicial infrastructure to facilitate the administration of justice in a manner that allows easy access and timely delivery of justice to all, the Cabinet also gave its approval for the implementation of the scheme in a mission mode through National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms.
The total cost of the scheme is estimated at Rs 9,000 crore, out of which will be Rs 5,357 crore will be Central share, including Rs 50 crore for the Gram Nyayalayas Scheme.
The scheme will help develop the infrastructure facility of the judiciary as several courts are still functioning in rented premises with insufficient space and some in a dilapidated condition without the basic amenities. Lack of residential accommodation to all the judicial officers also adversely affects their working and performance.
This proposal will help in the construction of 3,800 court halls and 4,000 residential units (both new and ongoing projects) for judicial officers of district and subordinate courts, 1,450 lawyer halls, 1,450 toilet complexes and 3,800 digital computer rooms.
This will help in improving the functioning and performance of the judiciary in the country and will be a new step towards building better courts for a new India.
The Cabinet also approved the decision to support the Gram Nyayalayas by proving recurring and non-recurring grants for a period of five years with a total outlay of Rs 50 crore. However, funds will be released to the states only after the notified Gram Nyayalayas are operationalised and Nyayadhikaris have been appointed and reported on the Gram Nyayalaya portal of the Department of justice.
A review will be undertaken after one year to assess whether the Gram Nyayalaya Scheme has successfully achieved its objective of providing speedy and affordable justice to the rural marginalized section of the society.
A CSS for development of infrastructure facilities for the judiciary has been in operation since 1993-94. Adequacy of judicial infrastructure is critical for reduction of pendency and backlog of cases in courts.
Since the inception of the scheme till 2014, the Central government provided only Rs 3,444 crore to the state governments and Union Territories, said a government statement, adding, “In sharp contrast, the present government during the last seven years has sanctioned Rs 5,200 crore till date, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the sanctions made so far.”