Legislative competence of Delhi Government to amend Court Fee Act

Scope of Legislative Competence of Delhi Government under NCT of Delhi Act

Delhi legislature is a subordinate legislature which draws its powers from Government of NCT of Delhi Act of 1991. Practically its powers are truncated to a vast extent.

A batch of petitions challenged the constitutionality and validity of the Court Fees (Delhi Amendment) Act, 2012 ―Delhi Act 11 of 2012 before Delhi High Court whereby the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi had amended the Court Fees Act, 1870 in force in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The argument against the amendments to the Court Fees Act 1870, which is a Central legislation, by the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi was that it is unconstitutional, arbitrary and ultra vires on account of lack of legislative competence, Government supported the view that the Legislative Assembly of Delhi has the competence to amend the Central Act as the power to legislate on the subject of fees taken in all courts, except the Supreme Court, vests exclusively in the State Legislature, vide Entry 3 of List II. Delhi High Court accepted the challenge on these grounds:

Court Fees (Delhi Amendment) Act, 2012 is invalid being beyond legislative competence:

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