• The Chief Justice of India proposed creation of a National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India (NJIAI).


  • NJIAI could work as a central agency with each State having its own State Judicial Infrastructure Authority, much like the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) model.
  • It has been suggested that the Chief Justice of India could be the patron-in-chief of the NJIAI, like in NALSA, and one of the Supreme Court judges nominated by the Chief Justice could be the executive chairman.
  • Exception:
  • But, unlike NALSA which is serviced by the Ministry of Law and Justice, the proposed NJIAI should be placed under the Supreme Court of India.
  • In the NJIAI there could be a few High Court judges as members, and some Central Government officials because the Centre must also know where the funds are being utilised.
  • In the State Judicial Infrastructure Authority, in addition to the Chief Justice of the respective High Court and a nominated judge, four to five district court judges and State Government officials could be members


  • Budgetary allocation
    • The infrastructure problems in judiciary must be seen in the context of the lack of specific budgeting for the judicial branch, which is a standard practice in most democracies.
    • Even after more than seven decades of independence, the budgetary allocations, including states, are still below 1 percent of the GDP.
    • According to the recently released India Justice Report, between 2011-12 and 2015-2016, India’s annual average spending on the judiciary was just 0.08 percent of the GDP.
    • While this has slightly improved with Centre increasing allocation—13th and 14th Finance Commissions—this remains to be an area of serious concern
  • Lack of planning
    • The judicial infrastructure for courts in India has always been an afterthought, said CJI recently
    • Due to this lack of planning the infrastructure is overburdened as the future needs are not adequately addressed during the construction itself.
  • Complexity of the Financing
    • The issue of financing judicial infrastructure is a complex task which requires coordination between various departments of the state government including the district collectorate, the Public Works Department and the Finance Ministry.
    • it also involves coordination between the state government and central government to complete the significant paperwork necessary to get funding under the centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Delays and Underutilisation
    • The primary responsibility of infrastructure development for the subordinate judiciary rests with the State Governments.
    • Central Government augments the resources of the State Governments by releasing financial assistance through central schemes
    • Unfortunately, some of the States are not giving their share of money as a contributing share. So no infrastructure schemes are taking off.
  • Judiciary’s complete dependence on the Executive
    • There is a major often overlooked challenge that the judiciary is facing today due to its entire dependence on the Executive.
    • The project design, monitoring and execution of the infrastructure, mainly the building infrastructure remains the sole prerogative of the Public Works Departments (PWD).
    • Due to this many pertinent aspects cost and space optimisation are being compromised.


  • Judicial Independence / Financial autonomy: NJIAI makes the judiciary more fiscally independent from the Executive. Therefore, it can address judicial needs quickly.
  • Expert Project Monitoring and Evaluation: NJIAI can be the part of the answer to complexities ensuring entrustment of Project Monitoring & Evaluation (PME) function to the experts available across the nation or even beyond.
  • Bringing Standardisation: NJIAI would bring the uniformity and standardisation required to revolutionise judicial infrastructure
  • Ensuring sufficient funding for Legal Services Authorities: Most of the State Legal Services Authorities are severely understaffed and are dependent on the grants from National Legal Services and State Law Departments. The fiscal plight of Legal Services Authorities has a direct bearing on the availing of legal services by the beneficiaries. Overall financial independence of the judiciary alone can ensure the independence of the Legal Services Authorities.
  • Reducing Pendency of cases: Strengthening the judicial infrastructure is the most important tool to reduce pendency of cases.

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