The Tamil Nadu Government has decided to introduce e-stamps for payment of Court fee by way of Tamil Nadu Court Fees and Suits Valuation (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill seeks to amend the Tamil Nadu Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1955, in view of the observations of Madras High Court in 2013.
While disposing of an application filed by a litigant, Madras High Court had in 2013 recommended a shift to the use of e-Court Fee, in order to manage Court bundles and judicial time. “A huge volume of judicial stamp papers is consumed while paying court fee. This creates unwanted stock of defaced judicial stamp papers which occupy a huge space in all courts. The bundle of judicial stamp papers after lodging serves no purpose except occupying valuable court space. If the huge volume of judicial stamp papers is dispensed with, the space can be better utilized,” the Court had observed.
While the proposed amendment to Sections 74 and 75 of the Act was reportedly welcomed by Mr. S. Srinivasa Raghavan, Vice-President, Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Bar Association (MMBA), he added a rider stating, “However, the modalities of implementing the new system are yet to be made public. It would be beneficial to the Bar only if advocates and litigants are provided with the convenience of paying the fee online, taking a printout of the challan and attaching it as a proof of payment while filing cases”.
Mr. Raghavan also emphasized on the need for introduction of simple and clear cut procedures for returning the Court fee, in case the matter gets settled through Alternate Dispute Resolution Systems.
Delhi High Court was the first in the country to introduce e-Court Fee payment system through M/s. Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited, (all India Integrated Financial Services) for payment of court fee. It was inaugurated in 2012, following a project launched by the Delhi Government and the Computer Committee of the High Court headed by Justice B. D. Ahmed.
The country’s second e-court fee system was recently made operational at Bilaspur High Court, after an MoU was signed between State Government and Stockholding Corporation of India Ltd, Mumbai last year.
Image from here.
Read the full text of the bill here.