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Budget decimates lower court IT budgets, halves state judicial budgets

The union budget for 2015-16 has earmarked Rs.806.2 crore for the development of judicial infrastructure in states and union territories, the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms and the administration of justice.

It has earmarked Rs.212.19 crore for the mission under the plan head which is up by Rs.124.99 crore compared to the Rs.87.30 crore allocated in 2014-15.

The national justice mission was set up in 2011 to improve a variety of issues relating to the judiciary to reduce pendency and arrears and increase access to justice.

But the catch is that in 2014-15, the government had revised and scaled down the expenditure to just Rs.5.69 crore of the allocated plan expenditure of Rs.89.30 crore for the mission.

However, there is a steep decline in the government allocation for the computerization of district and the subordinate courts with the allocation of just Rs.2 crore.

In 2014-15, the total allocation for computerization was Rs.58 crore which was scaled down to Rs.29.87 crore in the revised budget estimates.

The grant in aid to the states for the development of judicial infrastructure is earmarked at Rs.443.69 crore which is nearly half of Rs.842.40 crore allocated in the revised budget estimates in 2014-15.

Similarly grant in aid for the UTs is Rs.63 crore against the Rs.60 crore allocated in previous fiscal.

The Supreme Court has been allocated Rs.562.99 crore for plan expenditure which is Rs.373.01 crore less than what was allocated under the plan head in the 2014-15 budget.

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