Assembly passes Amendment to re-apportion Kerala Legal Benefit Fund

Thiruvananthapuram: The Assembly passed the Kerala Court Fees and Suits Valuation (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday.

The Bill provides for apportioning of Kerala Legal Benefit Fund, collected from litigants, to the Kerala Advocates’ Welfare Fund and Advocates’ Clerks Welfare Fund after leaving ten per cent for providing infrastructure to litigants.

Law Minister, A. K. Balan, who piloted the Bill, said that as per earlier arrangement, each of the welfare funds were getting 35 per cent share of the Legal Benefit Fund while the 30 per cent went to improve basic facilities for advocates’ clients in courts. This was now proposed to be re-apportioned with 63 per cent for the Advocates’ Welfare Fund, 27 per cent for the Advocates’ Clerks Welfare Fund and 10 per cent for providing infrastructure to litigants.

The share of each fund had been re-adjusted as number of members in the Advocates’ Welfare Fund was five times that of Clerks Fund.

The Minister said that budgetary support would now be required to improve the pathetic condition of basic amenities in lower courts. The government would discuss the matter with High Court Registrar.

The House rejected an amendment that the share for infrastructure for litigants should be raised to 20 per cent. 

Earlier, participating in the debate Mr. B. Satyan (CPI-M) congratulated the Minister for providing 10 per cent to litigants.

Mr. M. Ummer (Muslim League) said that the Benefit Fund was intended for the litigants. However, they were not getting any benefits though the money was being collected from them.