Delhi govt nod to 10-fold hike in court fees

Your legal battle may soon get costlier but have less hassles in Delhi.

New Delhi: Your legal battle may soon get costlier but have less hassles with the Delhi government on Monday deciding to hike the court fees by up to 10-fold and doing away with manual stamp paper of all denominations by replacing it with electronic stamping facility.

The provisions have been made in the Court Fees (Delhi Amendment) Bill 2011 which was approved by the Delhi Cabinet. Officials said the Bill, which will be tabled in the Budget Session of the Assembly next month, has already been cleared by the Centre.

The Bill seeks to completely do away with stamp paper of all denominations and shift to electronic-stamping facility, a moved aimed at ensuring hassle-free transactions and prevent fraudulent practices.

It also seeks a 10-fold hike in court fees which were last amended in 1958. The revenue collection from court fees will go up to Rs 500 crore annually from current Rs 50 crore when the new rates come into effect.

Currently, e-stamping is applicable to values of Rs 500 and above but government has now decided to abolish stamp papers of all denominations, which will mean people will have to pay stamp duty for sworn affidavits, agreement of tenancy, mortgage deeds, power of attorney and other instruments through e-stamping facility.

Briefing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said in order to rationalise the court fees and collection by electronic-court fees it was decided to amend section 26 of the Court Fees Act 1870.

"A draft bill was prepared by the city government which has been approved by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Union Ministry of Law and Justice," Dikshit said.

A committee of the Delhi High Court had asked the city government to start e-court fee.

The Cabinet also decided to auction 93 shops in subways and 13 shops in residential colonies, lying vacant, on freehold basis. The shops were constructed by the PWD.

The shops in subways are at South Extension, Sabzi Mandi Azadpur, Munirika Market, Saraswati Vihar, Nehru Nagar, Swami Nagar, Bhikaji Cama Place, Lajpat Nagar, Defence Colony, Andrews Ganj, Karkardooma, Timar Pur, Kalyanvas and Gulabi Bagh.


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