Ranchi, July 25: Lawyers across the state today abstained from court work in protest against rising court costs in Jharkhand.
Although the clients suffered, the lawyers justified their unrest by saying it was ultimately in the clients’ interest.
“The legal costs have been increased by 300 to 400%. For example, the court fee for filing attendance in court, which is currently Rs 5, has become Rs 20. Similarly, the maximum fee for filing a civil suit has increased from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 50,000. Jharkhand High Court court fees have also almost doubled. If this is allowed, customers will suffer. People come to court for the legal remedy and therefore the exorbitant court fees are an obstacle before the legal process. It is not in the interest of ordinary people,” Jharkhand State Bar Council (JSBC) Chairman Rajendra Krishna said justifying the commotion.
Expressing his anguish over the rising court fees in the state, JSBC Chairman Krishna said there was no logic behind the increase in fees and that it was done without consultation with the body of lawyers.
“Court fees are decided on the basis of administrative fees but here in Jharkhand we are not seeing the rise in accordance with administrative fees,” Krishna said.
Asked what action to take if the state government refuses to withdraw its decision, Krishna said the unrest would escalate and the government would be forced to withdraw its decision.
“Sarkar Ko Wapas Lena Hoga. Yah to the warning hai“said JSBC Chairman Krishna.
A civil court lawyer, Rajesh Kumar, backed JSBC chairman Krishna, saying “currently the court fee for filing Vakalatnana is Rs 5, which has been increased to Rs 35”.
Another barrister, Dheeraj Kumar, echoed the same saying: “Previously, Rs.5 per page was required for a copy in an ordinary case and Rs.10 per page was required in an emergency.” Now it has been doubled. Kumar said and added that the way the fees have been increased for filing a lawsuit, it has become difficult for the poor to contest a legal battle if someone grabs their land and for a state like the Jharkhand where land dispute cases often arise, such high fees will deprive people of justice.