A petition has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking appropriate direction to its Registrar General and Government of Delhi to rationally distribute and enhance pecuniary jurisdiction of Civil Judges posted at District courts, in the larger public interest.
The petitioner Amit Sahni, practising lawyer and social activist stated that the pecuniary jurisdiction of District Courts at the level of Civil Judges needs to be amended or increased so that the stagnation faced by the Civil Judges and burden of cases upon District Judges, Additional District Judges can be reduced simultaneously.
The Delhi High court will hear the matter on December 1, 2021.
The plea further stated that the pecuniary jurisdiction of Civil Judges in District Courts of Delhi is up to 3 lakhs only and there has been no change in the same since 2003. The further pecuniary jurisdiction of ADJ, District Judges have increased from 20 lakhs (in 2003) to 2 crore (in 2015).
Advocate Sahni’s petition further stated that the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court and other District Courts were altered or increased from time to time to suit the dynamics of the contemporary legal scenario.
“The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court has rose from above Rs 25,000/- (Twenty Five Thousand) to above Rs 2,00, 00,000/- (Rupees Two Crores) within the year of 1969 to 2015 and pecuniary jurisdiction of District Judge level was increased from up to Rs 20 lakhs/- to up to Rs 2 crore/- within the year of 2003 to 2018 [through Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Ordinance), 2018]. The pecuniary jurisdiction of Civil Judge level has not been amended and it is still up to Rs 3 lakhs,” the plea stated.
The distribution of pecuniary jurisdiction of Civil Judges was proportionately done on earlier occasions at the time of amendments but from 2003 onwards there is no increase in pecuniary jurisdiction of Civil Judges posted at Delhi District Courts, plea added.
The Petitioner has made respondents in the matter to Delhi High Court through its Registrar General along with Bar Council of Delhi, Delhi Government and different Bar association of district courts.
The pecuniary value of Rs. 3 lacs entrusted to Civil Judges of Delhi District Courts is on the extremely lower side and no property in Delhi is worth “3 Lacs” only and the same has led to stern stagnation as Civil Judges of Delhi District Courts are adjudicating Injunction Suits and petty suit for Recovery amounting up to 3 lakhs only.
The District Courts in the neighbourhood of Delhi, i.e. Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad enjoy unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction. District Courts in Delhi need to be equated with District courts in adjourning areas of Delhi so far as pecuniary jurisdiction is concerned, the plea stated.