The Delhi high court on Thursday stayed for two weeks the Delhi government’s notification bringing about a 10-fold hike in court fees.
A bench of acting chief justice AK Sikri and justice RS Endlaw directed the government to resolve the impasse after holding discussions with bodies representing lawyers. The notification had come into effect on August 1.
“The Delhi government will try to resolve the issue within two weeks after holding discussions with the coordination council of all bar associations in Delhi and the Delhi high court Bar Association,” the bench said.
The court, however, agreed with the submissions of Nazmi Waziri, counsel for the Delhi government, that the legislative competence of the state cannot be questioned.
The bench, while staying the operation of the Court Fee (Delhi Amendment) Act, 2012, referred to the contents of a letter by Delhi revenue minister AK Walia to the lawyers’ body that the government was willing to resolve the issue by holding discussions with all the stakeholders.
Lawyers had struck work on August 7 against the hike, paralysing functioning of six district court complexes in the Capital.
The court also said certain provisions in the new Act are not rational and can be questioned, but “right now we are not on that”. “We are simply asking you to hold discussions to resolve the issue at the earliest in the light of the letter written by the minister to the Coordination Council of All Bar Associations in Delhi,” the court said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the Delhi high court Bar Association seeking directions “to hold the Court Fee (Delhi Amendment) Act, 2012, as void, ultra vires and unconstitutional as it is in the nature of collecting revenue and beyond the competence of the state legislature”.