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CJI-designate Ranjan Gogoi says he has a plan to tackle judicial backlog

Supreme Court judges have often expressed concern at the increasing backlog of cases in the judicial system, with outgoing CJI Dipak Misra in June writing a letter to all high court chief justice to focus on reducing pendency in the high courts and lower courts.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2018 07:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ranjan gogoi,Chief justice of india,Indian judiciary
Justice Ranjan Gogoi takes over as the 42nd Chief justice of India on October 3. He will be the first CJI from the northeast. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Chief Justice of India (CJI)-designate Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday said he intends to focus on dealing with a rising backlog of cases clogging up the courts and providing access to justice to the poor.

“Two things are troubling me--pendency of case, which brings in a lot of disrepute to courts, and providing justice to poverty-stricken population,” justice Gogoi said in his keynote address in New Delhi at an interactive session on the “Role of Bar and Bench in Social Engineering,” organised by the Youth Bar Association of India.

On an increasing number of civil cases that add to pendency, justice Gogoi said: “ In civil cases, parties get relief after two or three generations. I have a plan to tackle it and request everyone’s support.”

Supreme Court judges have often expressed concern at the increasing backlog of cases in the judicial system, with outgoing CJI Dipak Misra in June writing a letter to all high court chief justice to focus on reducing pendency in the high courts and lower courts. According to the data available on the National Judicial Data Grid, a monitoring tool to identify, manage and reduce pendency of cases, the backlog reached alarming levels, touching 33 million currently.

Of these 33 million cases, 27.8 million cases were pending in the subordinate courts. The backlog in 24 high courts across the country stood at 4.3 million. The Supreme Court had a pendency of over 57,000 cases.

Of all the pending cases, 60% are more than two years old, while 40% are more than five year old. As per the National Judicial Data Grid, Uttar Pradesh had the highest pendency at 6.158 million cases; the lowest pendency was in the high court of Jammu and Kashmir at 148,000 cases.

Justice Gogoi takes over as the 42nd Chief justice of India on October 3. He will be the first CJI from the northeast.

Justice Gogoi added that the increasing case pendency and access to justice to the poor were the two issue that have to be addressed. “We have done well in terms of Jurisprudence,” he said, also reminding the bar of its role in shaping the society. .

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde said both issues raised by Justice Gogoi are chronic problems for the Indian legal system. “Access to justice is a problem world wide — whether the issue can be solved on the judicial side, we don’t know. It requires massive government intervention and working in tandem with the judiciary,” he said.

First Published: Sep 30, 2018 07:05 IST