The Cabinet on Thursday gave its go-ahead to the law ministry for the implementation of its action plan to bring down the number of 2.5 crore (25 million) cases pending in courts across the country.
The law ministry’s national mission for justice delivery and legal reforms, which was conceptualised in October 2009, aims at bringing down the average period of cases pending in courts from 15 to three years.
“The national mission will focus on improvement in administration of justice and justice delivery and legal reforms in the country,” said a statement issued by the ministry.
The mission’s objective is to increase access to justice by reducing delays and arrears and enhanced accountability through structural changes and by setting performance standards.
Its broad areas of focus are policy and legislative changes and improvement in the physical infrastructure of subordinate courts.
A preliminary assessment of infrastructure requirements for lower courts in states revealed that around Rs 7000 crore would be needed over five years to meet the target. The Centre’s outflow will be around Rs 5,500 crore for this period.
“As part of the proposal, the ministry plans to share 75% of the grant involved in developing the infrastructure in states to bring down the huge mountain of pending cases,” information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni told reporters.
For the northeastern region, the Centre will bear 90% of the expenses. Till now, it used to share 50% of the expenses with states. According to the proposal, a mission directorate will be set up to oversee the implementation of the national mission.