National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation(NJIC) – UPSC GS2

Context : The Chief Justice of India has proposed the establishment of the National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation to uniformly improve judicial facilities and access to justice.
Status of the Judicial Infrastructure in India:
  • An all-India survey was conducted by the Chief Justice of India’s office 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’ dais while there are still 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, while 16% don’t have such a facility for men either.
  • There are 620 court complexes that still operate from rented premises and only 54% of the total complexes have basic medical facilities.
What is the 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.
What is the solution, then?
  • CJI has proposed the establishment of the National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation(NJIC). It will be the nodal agency for infrastructural developments.
  • Both the central and state governments will contribute their share of funds outlined in the centrally-sponsored scheme to the NJIC which will then release the finances to the high courts according to their requirement.

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