Cabinet okays continuation of CSS for infrastructure facilities for judiciary for five more years

New Delhi, July 14, 2021

The Union Cabinet today approved the continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for the development of infrastructure facilities for the judiciary for a further five years from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2026, at a total cost of Rs 9,000 crore.

Of this, the Central share will be Rs 5,357 crore including Rs 50 crore for the Gram Nyayalayas Scheme and their implementation in a Mission Mode through National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms.

Several courts are still functioning in rented premises with insufficient space and some in dilapidated conditions without basic amenities. Lack of residential accommodation to all the judicial officers also adversely affects their working and performance, an official press release said.

According to it, the decision 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 toilets complexes and 3,800 digital computer rooms.

The Cabinet also approved the decision to support the Gram Nyayalayas by proving recurring and non-recurring grants for 5 years with a total outlay of Rs 50 crores. 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, the release said.

A review will be undertaken after one year to assess whether Gram Nyayalaya Scheme has successfully achieved its objective of providing speedy and affordable justice to the rural marginalized.

A Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary has been in operation since 1993-94.

"Adequacy of judicial infrastructure is critical for the reduction of pendency and backlog of cases in Courts. Though the primary responsibility of infrastructure development for the subordinate judiciary rests with the State Governments, the Central Government through this CSS augments the resources of the State Governments for the construction of court buildings and residential quarters for Judicial Officers (JO) in all the States / UTs.

"This proposal provides for additional activities like the construction of lawyer halls, toilets complexes and digital computer rooms. This will add to the convenience of lawyers and litigants besides reducing the digital divide," the release said.

The Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 that came into force on October 2, 2009, was enacted for the establishment of Gram Nyayalayas for speedy and easy access to the justice system in the rural areas of India. A scheme of central assistance was formulated simultaneously to fund the initial cost in terms of non-recurring expenses for setting up of these courts with the assistance limited to Rs 18.00 lakhs per Gram Nyayalaya as a one-time measure.

Central Government also decided to bear 50% of the recurring expenses of these courts subject to a ceiling of Rs 3.2 lakhs per court per annum during the first three years of their operations.

As many as 13 states have implemented this scheme by notifying 455 Gram Nyayalayas out of which 226 are functional. A sum of Rs 81.53 crore has been sanctioned since the inception of the CSS Scheme.

NNN

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