Orissa HC judge delivers 32 judgements in a single day

Updated on Sep 27, 2022 12:14 PM IST

The single judge bench headed by justice Debabrata Dash on Monday delivered judgement in 32 cases, most of them second appeal challenging the decree of appellate civil courts in the state

Of the 32 cases, 31 cases related to the second appeal, many of them dating back to 1988 and 1990. (File image)
Of the 32 cases, 31 cases related to the second appeal, many of them dating back to 1988 and 1990. (File image)
ByDebabrata Mohanty

Amid large scale pendencies in high courts across the country, a senior judge of Orissa high court has delivered 32 judgements in a single day.

Officials in Orissa high court on Monday said the single judge bench headed by justice Debabrata Dash on Monday delivered judgement in 32 cases, most of them second appeal challenging the decree of appellate civil courts in the state.

Of the 32 cases, 31 cases related to the second appeal, many of them dating back to 1988 and 1990.

In a second appeal case filed in 1990 by a person named Gangadhar Pradhan, the judge upheld his claim of status quo in the sale of land to Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir in Balasore district.

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Pradhan had moved the HC in 1990 appealing that that his opposite party has sold some portions of the property to office bearers of Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir.

In another case, the HC judge upheld the appeal of the district collector of Kalahandi who had moved Orissa high court against encroachment of government land by a persona named Prahallad Aghria and others in 1999.

Samaresh Jena, additional standing counsel in Orissa high court said, the passing of 32 judgements in a single day needs to be emulated and would go a long way in bringing down the pendency in the High Court.

“Till September 23, at least 1.72lakh cases were pending in the high court of which over 67,000 cases are civil writ petition cases. Nearly 20,000 criminal appeal cases are pending. The courts need to clear the backlog quickly,” said Jena.

In August this year, union law minister Kiren Rijiju had told the Rajya Sabha that 59.5lakh cases are pending in 25 high courts across the country while in subordinate courts the backlog was 4.13crore.

In Supreme Court, more than 71,000 cases are pending.

In June this year, Orissa high court became the first HC in the country to publish an annual report that gave insights into the performance of the state’s judiciary.

“The greatest challenge to the judiciary is docket explosion i.e., increase in the pendency of cases. While the increase in the institution of cases reflects people’s faith in the judiciary, it also poses challenges,” the report said, adding that the judiciary “appears to have fallen short of expectations”.

The annual report for the year 2021 said a low judge: population ratio (the number of judges per million population) was the main reason for the large pendency of cases.

The judge-population ratio in Odisha at 20.52, compared to the national average of 21.03.

It also said though the sanctioned strength of judges in the high court was 33, but the present working strength was only 21.

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