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About 3.5 Crore Cases Pending In Indian District Courts: Plea In Supreme Court For Appointment Of More Judges In Subordinate Judiciary

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 Jan 2021 3:23 AM GMT
About 3.5 Crore Cases Pending In Indian District Courts: Plea In Supreme Court For Appointment Of More Judges In Subordinate Judiciary
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A public interest litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court, underscoring the issue of long pendency of cases in Subordinates Courts in India, inter alia seeking formal guidelines and rule of procedures for the appointment of judges within the time-bound duration. The petition has been filed by a final year law student, Shrikant Prasad, stating that the delay in the administration...

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A public interest litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court, underscoring the issue of long pendency of cases in Subordinates Courts in India, inter alia seeking formal guidelines and rule of procedures for the appointment of judges within the time-bound duration.

The petition has been filed by a final year law student, Shrikant Prasad, stating that the delay in the administration of justice causes mental harassment to both victims and accused, and amounts to denial of Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. [Hussainara Khatoon (IV) v Home Secretary, State of Bihar [(1980) 1 SCC 98]

The Petitioner pointed out that about 3.5 crore cases are pending in Indian District Courts, out of which about 2.5 crore cases are of criminal nature. Moreover, about 56,000 cases pending since more than 30years.

"The issue of judicial backlog and delay is widely acknowledged and extensively written about, but it seems to be nowhere close to being resolved. Today, a litigant can be stuck in court corridors for decades…the original litigant may not even be alive by the time the court resolves the issue. It is a stretch to describe any verdict given after decades as 'justice'," states the plea.

The petition identifies that the primary reason behind such delay in justice is lack of Judges & corresponding Staff in subordinate Courts. Relying on a 2019 report published by the Union Law Ministry, the Petitioner submitted that there are merely 20 judges per 10 lakh people in the country, as compared to 17 in 2014.

This results in listing of too many cases before a Judge on each day, and it becomes impossible to meaningfully hear so many cases, thus inevitably leading to multiple adjournments, the plea avers.

Further, as per a report published by the Supreme Court, the subordinate judiciary requires more than 5,000 courtrooms to accommodate more than 20,000 judicial officers. There is also a need to fill more than 40,000 staff positions, which have been lying vacant for many years.

In this backdrop, the Petitioner has urged the Court to direct the concerned authorities to fill the vacant posts of subordinate courts and also increase the number of Judges in proportion laid down in All India Judges Association & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., 2002 SC 247.

In this case, the Top Court had directed the Central Government as well as the State Governments to increase the number of judges in Trial Courts, to curb the delays.

Further, the Petitioner has suggested that the Supreme Court and the High Court may, in exercise of their powers under Article 127 of the Constitution, appoint effective and efficient Judges as AD-HOC Judges.

A further direction is sought to make sure that infrastructures of Subordinate Courts is maintained properly.

Click Here To Download Petition

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