Conduct drive to settle pending cases: CJI told
Alarmed over the huge number of around two and a half crore (25 million) cases pending in courts across the country, the government has asked the judiciary to conduct a special six month drive in an attempt to bring down the arrears.delhi Updated: May 11, 2011 00:00 IST
Alarmed over the huge number of around two and a half crore (25 million) cases pending in courts across the country, the government has asked the judiciary to conduct a special six month drive in an attempt to bring down the arrears.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia and chief justices of all the 21 high courts in the country, law minister M Veerappa Moily shared details of more than 20 lakh cases, which have been pending since 10-15 years and even more.
Conceding that the target set in the vision statement released in October 2009 to bring down the average waiting period in courts for a case to be decided from 15 to three years “may not be met”, the minister has recommended some new measures.
“I suggest launching a campaign mode approach to reduce pendency in 2011-12 for maximum reduction of cases pending over 5-15 years in a six month campaign. It is possible expect for some very difficult cases,” Moily wrote.
In an explanatory note accompanying the letter, the law ministry has stated the campaign could be launched from July to December this year, giving targets for disposal of cases to morning and evening shift courts, subordinate courts and even the high courts.
“The high courts have the supervisory role over the lower courts. They can decide which pending cases can be disposed off quickly, beginning with the oldest cases first,” Moily said.
He has assured the chief justices that substantial funding for the ambitious campaign would be made available. “R6,500 crore has been provided for infrastructure which includes computerisation of courts, constructing new complexes and for appointment of judges of the lower judiciary,” Moily said.
The ministry has also recommended bringing in summary procedures as allowed by law, plea bargaining and compounding of cases to reduce the work load of judges and courts.
Moily has praised the Madras and Kerala high courts for their initiatives to tackle pendency in lower courts in their states.