Published on: December 6, 2021




Chief Justice of Supreme court of India suggested one central agency- National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation, with a degree of autonomy, for overseeing infrastructure development of subordinate courts in India


Chief Justice of India’s office conducted an all-India survey to know the status of the Judicial Infrastructure in Trial Courts.

According to the survey

  • Only 27% of courtrooms in the subordinate judiciary have computers on judges’ dias
  • 10% of courts that do not have access to proper internet facilities
  • 22% of trial court complexes do not have any toilet facilities for women
  • 16% don’t have such a facility for men either
  • There are 620 court complexes that still operate from rented premises
  • Only 54% of the total complexes have basic medical facilities.

Reason behind judicial infrastructure lag

  • To develop judicial infrastructure, funds are extended by the central government and states under the Centrally-Sponsored Scheme for Development of Judiciary Infrastructure which began in 1993.
  • Under the scheme, the ratio of fund sharing between the Centre and state is 60:40 for all states except those in the Northeast and the Himalayan region where it is 90:10.
  • However, states do not come forward with their share of funds and consequently, money allocated under the scheme is often left unspent with them and lapses.
  • Of a total of ₹981.98 crore sanctioned in 2019-20 under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) to the States and Union Territories for development of infrastructure in the courts, only ₹84.9 crore was utilised by a combined five States, rendering the remaining 91.36% funds unused.
  • This underutilisation of funds is not an anomaly induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue has been plaguing the Indian judiciary for nearly three decades when the CSS was introduced in 1993-94.