Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan on Saturday cited inadequate financial allocation for developing judicial infrastructure as one of the reasons for the whopping backlog of three million litigations in lower and high courts.
"The pendency of cases has grown by 84 per cent since in 1995, while the financial allocation for judiciary has been hiked merely by 25 per cent since then," the chief justice told an international conference on Alternative Dispute Resolution in New Delhi.
The chief justice ascribed the rise in the number of litigations to increasing population and awareness among the people.
"Rising litigation is a natural phenomena. While the population is growing, people have also become more aware," he said.
The chief justice also sought to refute the impression that the Indian judiciary was painfully slow.
"The disposal rates of cases in many states is something between in 1,400 to 1,600 per annum per judge. It's certainly not slow," said the chief justice.
Emphasising the need for faster development of judicial infrastructure, including higher number of courts and judges, Chief Justice Balakrishnan also favoured various methods of alternate dispute resolution, including arbitration, reconciliation and mediation.
The conference was addressed among others by Union Minister for Law and Justice HR Bharadwaj, Supreme Court judges Ashok Bhan and Arjit Pasyat, Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia and United Kingdom's first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (a post equivalent to an Indian Supreme Court judge), Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond.