Budgeting Better for Courts: An Evaluation of the Rs 7460 Crores Released Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Judicial Infrastructure

Reports by Judicial Reform · September 3, 2019
Author(s): Chitrakshi Jain, Shreya Tripathy and Tarika Jain

The District Judiciary in India plays a crucial role in the administration of justice as it is often the first point of contact between citizens and the justice system. One of the reasons identified by the judiciary for the delays at the level of District Judiciary is the shortage of judges. One of the reasons for the judiciary not being able to fill its vacancies is the lack of courtrooms and residences to house new judges. Contrary to the usual narrative of under-funding for judicial infrastructure, the fact of the matter is that the Centre under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for the Judiciary (‘Scheme’) would have released Rs 7460.24 crores between 1993 and 2020, primarily for the District Judiciary. Despite this significant release, the District Judiciary has only 17,817 courtrooms available for itself against a sanctioned strength of 22,750 judges.

In this context, this report provides an evaluation of the Scheme which covers the construction of courtrooms and residential units for the District Judiciary. The Scheme is funded jointly by the Central and State Government, with the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice being the nodal Ministry. The report identifies the issues related to design and practice at the Central level. Additionally, it also looks at the challenges faced by the State Governments in implementing the Scheme.

Download the complete report- Budgeting Better for Courts: An Evaluation of the Rs 7460 Crores Released Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Judicial Infrastructure

 


About Chitrakshi Jain:

Chitrakshi is a Research Fellow with the Judicial Reforms vertical. As member of the vertical she has worked on issues such as judicial funding, transparency in the judiciary and other aspects that affect the functioning of the institution. Her areas of interest include public institutions, urban governance and governance of Scheduled Areas. A 2014 graduate of NALSAR, Hyderabad she was working as a research associate for Centre for Social Justice, Ahmedabad prior to joining Vidhi. Interested in pursuing research that lies at the intersection of law and social sciences, she completed her Masters in Politics from the University of Delhi and is currently also pursuing research at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, JNU on urbanisation and governance.


About Shreya Tripathy:

Shreya is a Research Fellow with the Judicial Reforms team. At Vidhi, she researches on areas like gender representation and efficient budgeting in the judiciary. Her areas of interest include Human Rights & Judicial Reforms. She has publications in law & policy review journals and online platforms such as First Post. She graduated with B.B.A.LL.B. from National Law University, Odisha in 2018. During her time there she worked as a member of various organizing committees including TEDxNLUO and also worked as the head of the cultural committee of the college. She has previously interned at organizations like Nyaaya, CHRI, SAHRDC and PLD. Link to full bio


About Tarika Jain:

Tarika is a Research Fellow with the Judicial Reforms team. At Vidhi, she researches on gender representation, efficient budgeting and transparency in the judiciary with an empirical lens. Her areas of interest include law and economics, and governance. Tarika graduated from Gujarat National Law University with B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) in 2017. She has publications in peer reviewed law and social sciences journals and online platforms like Firstpost and Oxford Human Rights Blog. Prior to joining Vidhi, she was working for Gujarat State Petronet Limited, a state Public Sector Undertaking in the oil and gas sector where she was involved in various litigation and arbitration matters. She has previously interned with the Law Commission of India and Hon’ble Justice N.V. Ramana at the Supreme Court. Tarika is a pop culture enthusiast and enjoys watching anime and rockumentaries in her free time. Link to full bio