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50-Fold Hike In Court Fee Recommended For Corporate Disputes

PTI 25 Aug 2011, 19:17:34 IST

New Delhi, Aug 25: Corporate houses fighting legal battles in the Supreme Court may now have to pay Rs one lakh as court fee.

The Law Commission has recommended a 50-fold hike in the court fees to be paid by parties approaching the apex court for corporate disputes and has suggested fixing a maximum limit of Rs one lakh for such fees.

In its latest report, the Commission has pointed out that there has been no revision of the court fees for the last 60 years.

The report, tabled in Parliament today, was submitted to the government in January.

The report has come in response to a reference made by the Department of Justice following a report by the Parliamentary Standing committee on Law and Justice. The parliamentary panel had recommended a steep hike in fees for corporate cases in 2008, saying there was an impression that the corporates get priority in courts.

“At present, the maximum court fees stands at Rs 2,000 and this was prescribed by the Supreme Court rules of 1950 and it remains unchanged till now,” Commission Chairman Justice P V Reddi said in the report.

In its other report, the Commission has recommended a voluntary legal procedure for a person intending to change his or her religion to avoid any controversy on religious status in inter-religious marriages.

Highlighting the problems faced by those who convert in proving their religious status in courts, the Kerala High Court had in 2009 favoured an appropriate enactment on the issue and had asked the Commission to study issue.

The panel has recommended that within a month after the date of conversion, the converted person, if she or he chooses, can send a declaration to the officer in charge of registration of marriages in the area concerned.

The registering official will have to display a copy of the declaration on the notice board of the office till the date of confirmation.

The declaration should contain the requisite details such as the particulars of the convert, including date of birth, permanent address, and the present place of residence, and the religion to which the convert originally belonged and the religion to which he or she converted, the date and place of conversion and nature of the process gone through for conversion.

“However, it is clarified that in whichever state, there is a law governing conversions such as the Freedom of Religion Act, the above recommendations do not apply,” the Commission said. PTI