Proposal to charge corporates higher fee in SC is before panel

New Delhi, June 29 (PTI) Calculating the cost of conducting one hour of hearing in Supreme Court and recovering it from corporate litigants is among a bunch of proposals being considered by a House panel for generating additional financial resources for the apex court.The parliamentary standing committee on law and justice is studying a suggestion related to a steep hike in court charges, at least for corporates, which would be comparable with the charges that they may have to pay to an arbitrator for resolving their disputes.The suggestion on raising some of the court charges appears to echo the sentiments of an official task force on judicial impact assessment (JIA) that said that lack of funds for the judiciary was a major hurdle in clearing the pending cases.According to a proposal before the House panel, the current filing charges ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 should be raised by 10 times or more to curb the practice of corporates consuming the apex court’s time instead of depending upon other forums for resolution of their disputes.At current cost levels, it is cheaper for a corporate to drag its dispute longer by filing a plea in the Supreme Court rather than settle it through an arbitrator, said House panel chairman E M S Natchiappan who is considering a proposal to increase the number of apex court judges to 30.”We intend to seek the views of corporates and others on these issues (related to revision of court fees) before arriving at a final decision,” he said, adding that raising the court charges would facilitate early setting up of special corporate benches in the apex court.There are over 40,000 pending cases in the apex court and a number of urgent matters filed by corporates tend to delay hearings in issues related to common litigants. PTI


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