NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain the petition seeking a direction to the respondents, Central and State Governments to allocate a percentage of the annual budget to the judiciary, which it will spend depending upon the priorities for such spending.
A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, refused to entertain the petition that petitioner-cum-lawyer lawyer Reepak Kansal filed in the case.
The petitioner also sought directions for setting up a separate Secretariat with the Supreme Court and the High Courts to manage such funds allocated to the judiciary.
"There is a need for constituting a separate Secretariat with the Supreme Court and High Courts to manage the funds allocated to the judiciary. The Secretary-General who heads the said Secretariat should be assisted by the secretaries who should be having sufficient experience in finance and budget handling," the petition read.
It further stated that it would be the duty of the Secretariat to ensure that the budget allocated to the judiciary is optimally utilised for the creation of adequate infrastructure including identifying the place for building new courts.
Reepak Kansal said this is a petition seeking effective funds to allocate to the judiciary.
The CJI, however, said, no. "We don't want to direct the government to allocate us funds," the CJI added and refused to entertain the petition.
The petition stated that in the plans made by the Planning Commission and the Finance Commission, the judiciary needs to be dealt with separately.
"It is a matter of great concern that Centre and State Governments are not even spending 1 per cent of the Budget allocated to the Judiciary, which is necessary for the development of judicial infrastructure and its functioning," the petition filed by Kansal stated.
It also alleged that the subordinate courts in India have been facing hardships during day-to-day working due to lack of infrastructure and improper funds.
The petition demanded that the Centre and States should provide requisite resources to the judiciary without cutting/rejecting the demands made by it so that it is able to smoothly discharge its judicial functions.
"To have an independent Judiciary in India is not merely a fundamental right of the citizen but is part of the basic structure of the Constitution as held by the Supreme Court," the petition said.
"The Judges in all courts are constantly under the pressure of the overburden of the cases and its early disposal which can lead to a miscarriage of Justice. In our country, the judicial system has been functioning with a lower than sanctioned number of judges," the petition said.
It further stated that an inadequate allocation of funds by the Centre and states have adversely affected staffing, functioning, and quality which has been destroying the purpose of the judicial system. Adequacy of judicial infrastructure is a prerequisite for the reduction of pendency and backlog of cases in courts.