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Court ready with wish list

Ranchi, Jan. 8: Jharkhand High Court has worked out the financial implications of implementing various expansion plans, including construction of a new court campus with judges’ residences, and has passed on details to the law department so that these may be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting with the 14th Finance Commission.

A letter issued by Jharkhand High Court registrar general A.V. Singh and prepared under the initiative of Chief Justice R. Banumathi also includes plans to double the workforce in lower courts and improve the overall judicial infrastructure across the state.

“Jharkhand High Court has studied its needs and requirements in terms of finances, which has been intimated to the concerned authorities for sanction, and availability of funds,” Singh explained.

The high court estimates an annual expenditure of Rs 75.86 crore if and when the number of judicial officers was doubled in lower courts.

This estimate was arrived at after district judges, on the directive of the chief justice, sent their assessments regarding expenses on salaries of officers and other staff including, court officers, assistants, drivers, stenographers and peons.

The high court has asked the government to create as many as 40 posts of superior judicial officers, 60 posts of senior division civil judges and 347 posts of junior division civil judges in the lower courts of the state.

A new high court campus at the HEC grounds next to JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi is estimated to cost Rs 363 crore.

Additional expenses of Rs 102.95 crore would be incurred if a residential complex for judges is built on the campus.

Various e-initiatives of the judiciary, development of software, its distribution to judicial officers across the state and inter-linking of all courts with the high court, are estimated to require Rs 5.66 crore.

Singh said the entire estimate was prepared at the initiative of the chief justice who was keen to improve the delivery mechanism of justice in Jharkhand.