The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the stand of the Centre on a plea for enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction of civil courts here from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad asked the central government counsel to seek instructions on the issue on a petition by lawyer Amit Sahni.
The petitioner informed the decision to enhance the limit has already been taken by the high court on its administrative side but, even after the lapse of a year, the Centre is yet to notify it.
Last year, the high court had, while dealing with another plea by the petitioner on the same issue, noted that a full court took a decision on February 9, 2022 to increase the pecuniary jurisdiction of civil courts and a communication in that regard had been sent to the ministry concerned by the high court on March 7, 2022.
Sahni had contended the pecuniary limit of Rs 3 lakh is very meagre for civil courts which results in a large number of cases being filed before district courts that have a much wider jurisdiction of Rs 3 lakh and finally up to Rs 2 crore.
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The high court had then disposed of Sahni’s plea which said the pecuniary jurisdiction of civil judges posted in the national capital has changed from time to time from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh in 2003 but not after that.
In his present petition, Sahni said the Centre cannot be permitted to sit over the decision of a full court without any logical reasoning and that the pecuniary jurisdiction of civil judges needs to be increased so that the stagnation faced by them and the burden of cases upon district judges can be reduced.
“Pecuniary value of Rs. 3 Lacs entrusted to Civil Judges of Delhi District Courts is on 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 upto 3 lacs only. District Courts in neighborhood of Delhi i.e. Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad enjoy unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction,” the plea said.
The matter will be heard next on May 19.