I have a question regarding Court Fee Exemption.
My wife has filed a civil suit against me in for an amount of Rs. 50 lakhs.
She has filed a petition in District Legal Services Authority u/s 12 of Legal Services Authority Act and got the exemption.
On the date of Submitting the Affidavit to District Legal Services Authority and on the Date of Recieving the Court Fee Exemption, she was employed and earning Rs. 10,000 per month. I have a proof for that.
She has mentioned in her affidavit that she is a "Housewife" and "I am lady having a source of Income less than 10,000.00 per annum". Which is false. She has filed false affidavit.
Based on her affidavit, the district legal services authority has granted her court fee exemption of Rs. 50,000 +
An the Office note in the Court Fee Exemption Certificate / Order says "It is submitted that petitioner X R/o City Y submitted that she is willing to file a suit against the respondent husband and others for recovery of an amount for Rs. XYZ with interest @ 18 % p.a. But the petitioner has no means to pay the court fee of Rs. 50,000 for filing suit. Therefore the petitioner prays the Hon'ble Judge to provide Legal Aid by way of exemption of court fee for filing suit for recovery of an amount of Rs. XYZ. The petitioner being a woman, she is entitled for Legal Aid as per Section 12 of Legal Services Act. Hence submitted for orders."
Based on the above note, she was granted exemption with an order as follows :
"Petitioner - Present, Petitioner filed agreement. As per Act, Petitioner is entitled for exemption of court fee, Submitted to the Honorable Chairamn Distrcit Legal ervices Authorit for passing the order for grant of Court Fee Exemption Certificate."
Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 prescribes the criteria for giving legal services to the eligible persons. Section 12 of the Act reads as under:-
Every person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act if that person is-
(a) a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
(b) a victim of trafficking in human beings or beggar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
(c) a woman or a child;
(d) a mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
(e) a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or
(f) an industrial workman; or
(g) in custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956); or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause
(h) of section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986) or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987 (14 of 1987);
(i) in receipt of annual income less than rupees nine thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Govt., if the case is before a court other than the Supreme Court, and less than rupees twelve thousand or such other higher amount as may be prescribed by the Central Govt., if the case is before the Supreme Court. (Rules have already been amended to enhance this income ceiling).
Legal Services Authorities after examining the eligibility criteria of an applicant and the existence of a prima facie case in his favour provide him counsel at State expense, pay the required Court Fee in the matter and bear all incidental expenses in connection with the case. The person to whom legal aid is provided is not called upon to spend anything on the litigation once it is supported by a Legal Services Authority
My Questions :
1. Kindly let me know if a working woman can claim court fee exemption u/s 12 of Legal Services Act.
2. Kindly let me know if the court fee exemption obtained by filing the false affidavit by a working woman invites any criminal offence ?
3. Can I take any action against the lady ? IF YES, Please let me know what action can I take ?
Please provide your valuable suggestions.
Thanks in advance.