Focusing on rising number of pending cases before the Courts in India, the Union Law Ministry has prepared a list of good practices that are being followed by various High Courts to reduce pendency. The list has been sent to Chief Justices of all the High Courts and it has special emphasis on cases that are more than 5 years old.
The list reportedly also includes measures that have been taken in other countries. The letter by the Union Law Ministry talks about setting up of fast tracks courts and also designating a special day in a week, meant to deal exclusively with disposal of older cases. Introduction of a case flow management system is also one of the points that have been suggested to the Chief Justices to reduce pendency.
Adopting from other jurisdictions, pre-trial proceedings have also been mentioned in the letter. In a pre-trial proceeding, there is a meeting between the prosecution, counsel of the accused and the judge and the whole trial is narrowed down to specific issues, thereby saving time of the Court.
The Law Ministry has also suggested regular assessment and monitoring of cases and judges. Reportedly, the Ministry has suggested adoption of worldwide standards like public trust and confidence, court planning and policies etc. for the same. Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code also finds a mention in the letter. The Ministry has reportedly suggested that appropriate guideline regarding the same may help in reducing unnecessary litigation.
The letter also praised Allahabad High Court that has been regularly holding LokAdalats on weekends. In the 706 LokAdalats that have been organized across the state, more than 3.22 lakh have been settled. Allahabad High Court, with the help of state government has also set up 171 mediation and conciliation centres across the state thereby promoting alternate dispute resolution. The mediation centres have been able to get to a settlement in 26 per cent of the cases. Reportedly, the High Court has also proposed to set up 81 fast track courts to deal with trial of rape cases.
You may read more of our coverage on high number of pending cases here.