New Delhi: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday justified the over 10-fold hike in court fees, saying the rates have been revised after a gap of 55 years and the increase was in tune with instructions of Delhi High Court.
The comments by Dikshit came as lawyers in six district courts of Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Karkardooma, Rohini, Saket and Dwarka, today abstained from work protesting the hike. The new rates have come into effect from August 1.
The court fees were last amended in 1958.
"The rates have been revised after a long period of 55 years. The intention behind revision is not to fill coffers of the Government but to facilitate submission of court fee," Dikshit said. In certain cases, the hike has been more than 10 times.
Giving an example, she said a fee of 65 paisa was charged for issue of copy of any revenue or judicial order which was difficult to pay as currency in paisa has become outdated.
"The Court fee of 40 paise, Rs 1.25 etc have been rationalised between Rs 10 to Rs 20," she said.
The hike in court fees means people will have to pay more on stamp duty for sworn affidavits, agreement of tenancy, mortgage deeds, power of attorney and other instruments.
The revenue collection from court fees is expected to go up to Rs 500 crore annually from current Rs 50 crore. The budget session of Delhi assembly in June had approved an amendment bill to facilitate increasing the fees.