India’s oldest civil case pending in a court — since 1956 — is in the Rajasthan high court. This is followed by the Jharkhand high court where a civil case is pending since 1958, and the Orissa high court, where a civil case is pending since 1961.
For criminal cases, the Allahabad and the Jammu and Kashmir high courts have the oldest backlog. In both the high courts, a criminal case has been pending since 1976. In Rajasthan, the oldest criminal case pending for disposal is from 1981.
Union minister of state for law and justice PP Chaudhary made these revelations while responding to a query in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. This has come at a time when Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had asked judges to work for at least five days during holidays to clear the pile-up.
In Rajasthan, the new chief justice of the high court, Pradeep Nandrajog, also stressed on reducing the backlog of cases after he took over.
Chaudhary said in the Parliament that as on March 31, 2017, the oldest criminal matter pending in the Supreme Court was of 1991. The oldest civil matter pending is of 1982.
The government has adopted a coordinated approach to assist the judiciary for phased liquidation of arrears and pendency in judicial systems, which, inter-alia, involves better infrastructure for courts, including computerisation, increase in strength of judicial officers, judges, policy and legislative measures in areas prone to excessive litigation and emphasis on human resources development, Chaudhary told the House.