Cabinet extends scheme for developing judicial infrastructure; Rs 9,000 crore to be spent over five years

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for the Development of Infrastructure Facilities for the Judiciary for five more years from April 1, 2021, at a cost of Rs 9,000 crore.
Briefing reporters about the cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the central share in the scheme will be Rs 5,357 crore including Rs 50 crore for the Gram Nyayalayas Scheme.
The implementation of the scheme will be in mission mode through National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms.
Thakur said the proposal 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.
An official release said that several courts are still functioning in rented premises with insufficient space and some in a dilapidated condition without basic amenities and lack of residential accommodation to all the judicial officers also adversely affects their working and performance.
It said the government has remained sensitive to the needs of providing well-equipped judicial infrastructure to the subordinate judiciary to facilitate the administration of justice in a manner that allows easy access and timely delivery of justice to all.
Adequacy of judicial infrastructure is critical for the reduction of pendency and backlog of cases in courts.
The release said that the decision will help in improving the functioning and performance of the judiciary in the country and will be a new step towards building better courts for a new India.
The Cabinet also approved the decision to support the Gram Nyayalayas by proving recurring and non-recurring grants for a period of five years with a total outlay of Rs 50 crore.
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.
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.
Though the primary responsibility of infrastructure development for the subordinate judiciary rests with the state governments, the Central Government through the CSS augments the resources of the state governments for construction of court buildings and residential quarters for Judicial Officers (JO) in all the states and UTs.
The present 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.
It said since the inception of the scheme, the central government over 20 years provided only Rs 3444 crore to the states and UTs.
The BJP-led government during the last seven years has sanctioned Rs 5200 crore so far accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the sanction made so far. The scheme will continue till March 31, 2026. (Agency)