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What Is India's Judges to Population Ratio?

Sneha Rao
13 Dec 2021 5:41 AM GMT
What Is Indias Judges to Population Ratio?
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Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju informed the Lok Sabha by a written reply that the nation currently has 21.03 judges per million population. The statement was in response to question posed by members of Parliament seeking the Law Minister's response on the judges-to-population ratio. Mr. Rijiju stated in his response that as on 31.10.2021 the judge to population ratio (Judge...


Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju informed the Lok Sabha by a written reply that the nation currently has 21.03 judges per million population. The statement was in response to question posed by members of Parliament seeking the Law Minister's response on the judges-to-population ratio.

Mr. Rijiju stated in his response that as on 31.10.2021 the judge to population ratio (Judge / per million population) with respect to sanctioned strength of judges is 21.03. In order to calculate the judge-population ratio for per million population in a particular year, the Department of Justice in the Ministry of Law, uses the population count as per 2011 census and available information regarding sanctioned strength of judges in Supreme Court, high courts, district and subordinate courts, in the particular year, he said. The minister further informed that State/UT-wise data is not maintained.

The Law Commission of India in its 120th Report titled 'Mapower Planning in Judiciary: A Blueprint' had recommended a ratio of 50 judges per million population. However, in the 245th Report the Law Commission had noted that judge-to-population would not be most accurate way to asses inadequacy of the judge

The Law Minister's Written reply also notes that The Law Commission's 245th had not considered the judge population ratio to be a scientific criterion for determining the adequacy of the judge strength in the country. The Law Commission found that in the absence of complete and scientific approach to data collection across various High Courts in the country, the "Rate of Disposal" method, to calculate the number of additional judges required to clear the backlog of cases as well as to ensure that new backlog is not created, is more pragmatic and useful.

The Statement further notes that in Imtiyaz Ahmed versus State of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court in August 2014, asked the National Court Management System Committee (NCMS Committee) to examine the recommendations made by the Law Commission in its 245th Report (2014) and to furnish its recommendations in this regard.

The Written reply further notes that the NCMS Committee submitted its report observing that in the long term, the judge strength of the subordinate courts will have to be assessed by a scientific method to determine the total number of "Judicial Hours" required for disposing of the case load of each court.

By an order dated 07.07.2021, Supreme Court had directed that the relevant copy of the NCMS Final Report be circulated to all High Courts for taking further action.

In response to the question whether any action is being taken to increase judicial strength, the statement notes that the augmentation of judge strength and judicial infrastructure is a continuous and collaborative process between the Executive and the Judiciary. It requires consultation and approval from various Constitutional authorities.


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