Lack of support from police and difficult circumstances in which the judges work are the main hurdles in deciding three crore cases pending in courts across the country, according to Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia.
“There is no speck of doubt that persons manning the different tiers of Indian judiciary have done commendable work, given the circumstances in which they discharge their obligation,” Justice Kapadia wrote to chief justices of all 21 high courts.
In response to an RTI query by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the Supreme Court has now released the CJI’s letter that was written in last November.
Referring to a large number of criminal cases pending, the CJI urged court management to bring down the arrears.
“Instances have been noticed where judicial magistrates who deal with these cases do not get adequate support from police for executing summons and warrants, apart from inadequate support staff, which result in protracted litigation,” he wrote.
The CJI also said given the “working strength” of judges in high courts and subordinate courts, the number of cases filed and disposed of between 2005 and 2010 was an “admirable” achievement. “…an achievement, more particularly when the working strength of judges in high courts and subordinate courts is 12,587.”
He has asked the chief justices of high courts to ensure zero pendency in cases which are more than five years old. “The cases, which are more than five years old, can be brought to the level of zero pendency by way of court management and application,” he advised.
The judges’ strength being one of the lowest in India has been a major point of criticism. The Law Commission of India as recommended that the strength of judges per one million population may be raised from 10.5 to 50 judges per million.