The Chief Justice of India (CJI) has said courts must raise their own resources in the face of an infrastructure development fund deficit of Rs 7,000 crore.
"Time has come for the judiciary to raise its own resources to meet expenses on account of judicial infrastructure, which is lacking in several states," said a bench headed by CJI S.H. Kapadia while hearing a petition filed by the All India Judges Association.
The court has, therefore, decided to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) on the lines of CAMPA funds under which money, as and when raised, would be earmarked for "judicial infrastructure".
The idea behind the SPV is to put less pressure on the state and central exchequer and have a national budget for the judiciary.
It gave two weeks’ time to solicitor-general Gopal Subramanium for the government response.
Senior Supreme Court advocate K.K. Venugopal supported Kapadia. Venugopal said the government had meted out stepmotherly treatment to the judiciary, leading to a huge pendency in subordinate courts.
"Time has come for the judiciary to think of alternatives because the system is suffering. It should, however, be within the constitutional limits," Venugopal added.
The CJI’s order follows a recent report prepared by the apex court secretary-general that said that more than Rs 7,000 crore was required to provide adequate infrastructure in district and subordinate courts.
Of this amount, Rs 2,162 crore was needed in 2010-11 itself. As against the required funds, the government’s budget is just Rs 701.08 crore.