It’s not surprising that Delhi High Court imposes heavy penalties on petitioners while dismissing frivolous cases. The court knows the value of time — it incurs an expenditure of Rs 6,000 for each minute it spends in hearing a case.
All matters listed for hearing costs the court, on an average, Rs 1,300, even if the they get adjourned without argument.
In the first of its kind annual report released by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah on Tuesday, the court has tried to arrive at its cost of operation by considering its budget and the time spent on hearing cases in the financial year 2007-08.
Last year, the total expenditure was Rs 42.45 crore for 213 working days.
“The average cost of listing each case before a judge worked out to Rs 1,297 and the average court expenditure per minute by the court was Rs 6,327 or Rs 19,93,180 for each working day,” the report by the high court for the year 2007-08 said.
“This expenditure excluded the time spent by the judges dictating reserved judgements in the chambers and preparing the cases for the next day as well as the time spent for correcting and signing the order in those 64 odd cases listed each day,” the report said.
The report said the Court’s disposal rate was more than the rate at which fresh petitions were filed, due to which pending cases have come down.
The court disposed of 56,612 cases, including 47,017 that were filed in that year alone. The total included cases held over from the previous year. Delhi High Court has 32 judges, while its sanctioned strength is 48, and 24 benches.
Chief Justice Shah, while releasing the report, said: “We have been able to reduce the cases of arrears from 79,818 in 2007 to 74,599 in 2008. This took place despite the fact that the court did not function at its full sanctioned strength of 48 but worked with a deficient strength of 32.”