Lawyers in Delhi have threatened to launch an agitation, including abstaining from work in courts, in protest against the Delhi Government's decision to revise court fees paid by litigants. The Coordination Committee of All Bar Associations of Delhi is protesting the Court Fees (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2012 passed by the State Legislative Assembly on June 4, saying "it is against the fundamental rights of the citizens" and "contravenes the basic spirit to provide justice to every common man".
"The Bill if notified and made applicable will prevent the common resident of Delhi from seeking justice as he or she would lack the necessary resources to pay court fees which has been increased more than hundred times in many cases.
"The Bill goes against the stated public policy of the government to assist the weak and poor in getting justice.... such policies of the government will be meaningless if this Bill is notified," Kuldeep Sehrawat, Chairman, Coordination Committee said in a press meet.
According to Sehrawat, as per the amended provisions, the court fees for bail application before a Metropolitan Magistrate would increase from R1.25 to R50 or to transfer a petition before a session or district judge a litigant would have to pay Rs 500 instead of Rs 1.25.
He said, "the government should not think it should earn revenue from people it is providing justice to. Providing justice is the basic duty of every elected government. Nowhere in the world has any government treated the providing of justice as a tool to earn revenue."