What is a Court Complex?
A court complex is a common physical compound containing multiple court halls, where each is notified as a particular type of civil or criminal court establishment over which a specific judge (or judges) preside(s).
- Principal District and Sessions Court,
- Chief Judicial Magistrate Court,
- Civil Judge Senior and Junior Division,
- Judicial Magistrate First Class, etc
A court complex may refer to the physical infrastructure of all the courts contained in the complex or to the court complex as a unit of analysis. When one searches for case status or order/judgment on the eCourts district court portal one has to choose the court complex or court establishment where the case is being heard or was heard.
The Official Definition of The Court Complex
According to the National Court Management System Baseline Report on Court Development Planning System a court complex should consist of:
Litigants’ waiting area;
|Space for lawyers
|Bar rooms for ladies and gents
Consultation rooms & cubicles
|Common facilities for functioning of complex not directly related to courts
|Utility services like AC plant, electrical sub-station, DG sets, STP, repair workshop, storage etc.
|Parking facilities for judges, lawyers, litigants
and other visitors
The Report states that the fundamental guiding factors in the design of a court complex would include:-
- To provide optimum working conditions leading to increased efficiency of judicial officers and the administrative staff;
- To provide easy access to justice to all and particularly to the underprivileged, persons with disability, women and senior citizens;
- To instil public trust in the judicial process;
- To provide for the safety and security of judges, administrative staff, litigants, witnesses and under-trial prisoners.
References in Databases
There are 3443 district and taluk court complexes and 39 high court complexes in India. The Nyaya Vikas portal maintained by the Department of Justice provides updates on the implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for the Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Districts and Subordinate Judiciary. Under the Scheme, the union government provides financial assistance to state governments/ UT administrations for the construction of court halls and residences for judicial officers/judges of district and subordinate courts. Since 31.03.2021, some new features like lawyer's halls, toilet complexes and digital computer rooms have been added to the scheme. The funds sharing pattern between the union and state governments is 60:40 in respect of States apart from north-eastern and Himalayan states. The funds sharing pattern is 90:10 for north-eastern and Himalayan states; and 100% in respect of Union Territories.
Court complex is one of the parameters on which a person can search for case status and orders/judgments on the eCourts.
The number of court complexes by state and district are reported on the National Judicial Data Grid. is one of parameters used for analysis in the National Judicial Data Grid. The link is regularly updated.
References in papers/reports
Court Design Handbook for District Courts in India, by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy
This handbook developed by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy seeks to expand upon the National Court Management System (NCMS) guidelines and update them to effectively address the needs of all users in the present day, while also providing a policy framework for implementation.
Status of Physical Infrastructure in Lower Judiciary, by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy
The report assesses court infrastructure by surveying courts in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan on various parameters which are : i. Litigants’ Waiting Area ii. Ground Level Entry Points iii. Utility Block and Other Utilities iv. Vehicular Management
Building Better Courts Surveying the Infrastructure of India’s District Courts, by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy 
This report investigates the link between access to justice and judicial infrastructure by qualitatively assessing 665 district court complexes across India based on the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in 2012. Based on the data collected, nine parameters were to understand the state of infrastructure of every district court complex surveyed. These parameters were identified as Getting There, Navigation, Waiting Areas, Hygiene, Barrier-Free Access, Case Display, Security, Amenities and Website.
Usage in case law/ dynamic interpretations (if applicable)
The Supreme Court in an order in All India Judges Asson. vs Union Of India dated 2 August 2018 held that a court complex should consist of court buildings, space for lawyers and litigants, a facility centre, utility block, judicial lock-ups, strong rooms for record preservation, adequate parking space, IT infrastructure for computerisation and E-courts. 
Challenges and Regional Variations
There is no single official source document that defines/limits what a court complex is either as a physical place or as a unit of analysis.
- National Court Management Systems. (2020) https://main.sci.gov.in/pdf/NCMS/Court%20Development%20Planning%20System.pdf
- Nyaya Vikas- https://bhuvan-nyayavikas.nrsc.gov.in/
- Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, 'Court Design Handbook for District Courts in India', January 2024. available at: https://jaldi-vidhilegalpolicy.in/jaldilab/project?id=1
- Amrita Pillai & Raunaq Chandrashekhar, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, 'Status of Physical Infrastructure in Lower Judiciary,' 2018. available at: https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/research/2018-4-19-status-of-physical-infrastructure-in-lower-judiciary/
- Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, 'Building Better Courts Surveying the Infrastructure of India's District Courts' 2019. available at: https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/National-report_single_Aug-1.pdf