India’s judicial system handles roughly 2,600 cases every day, but that isn’t enough to keep up with all of the cases generated in a country of more than a billion people.
More than 22 million cases are currently pending in the district courts, according to government data. Of these, 7.5 million are civil cases, of which more than 6 million have dragged on for more than five years.
A LONG WAIT FOR JUSTICE
TOTAL CASES PENDING IN TRIAL COURTS
Many courts function from rented buildings and more than5,000 proposals for buildingcourthouses still await clearance from state governments
With around 13 judges for every million people, India’s judicial system has nowhere close to the ideal resources. The United States, for instance, had 107 judges per million people back in 1980
LITERACY, WEALTH PUSH UP CASES
As a state’s literacy rate and GDP goes up, it sees more litigation and cases. For instance, Kerala — with a literacy rate of 90% — sees some 28 new cases filed every year per 1,000 people as against 4 cases per 1,000 people in Jharkhand where the literacy rate is 53%
STATES WITH THE HIGHEST BACKLOG
According to a 2012 National Court Management Systems report, whilethe number of judges increased six-fold in the last three decades, thenumber of cases shot up 12-fold. The report estimated that in the nextthree decades, the number of new cases filed per thousand people willincrease from the current rate of about 15 to about 75 cases.