News Brief

Over 4.01 Lakh Cases Pending In Courts For More Than 25 Years: Govt

Swarajya StaffThursday, February 2, 2023 10:35 am IST
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju  (Photo by Sonu Mehta /Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju (Photo by Sonu Mehta /Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Governemnt on Thursday (2 February) informed the Parliament that there are over 4 lakh cases which are pending for more than 25 years in various courts.

There are 81 such long-pending cases in the Supreme Court as on 27 January 2023, the government said.

Meanwhile, over 4 lakh such cases are pending in the High Courts and the district and subordinate courts as on 30 January.

"The number of cases pending for more than 25 years, in Supreme Court of India as per the data retrieved from the Integrated Case Management Information System (ICMIS) as on 27.01.2023 is 81," Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

Further, the minister said, "As per the data available on the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), as on 30.01.2023 the number of cases pending for more than 25 years in the High Courts and in the District & Subordinate courts are, 1,24,810 and 2,76,208 respectively".

Elaborating the reasons for extremely long pendency of the cases, Rijiju said, "The pendency of cases is a multi-faceted problem. With an increase in the population of the country and enhanced awareness among the public about their rights, filing of fresh cases is also increasing, year after year".

"There are several reasons for large pendency of cases in the courts which, inter-alia, include availability of adequate number of judges and judicial officers, supporting court staff and physical infrastructure, frequent adjournments and lack of adequate arrangement to monitor, track and bunch cases for hearing, complexity of facts involved, nature of evidence, cooperation of stake holders viz. bar, investigation agencies, witnesses and litigants and proper application of rules and procedures," he said.

He added that the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 also contributed significantly in increasing the pendency in the last three year.

The minister further said that the Criminal Justice System functions on the assistance of various agencies such as Police, Prosecution, Forensic Labs, Handwriting Experts and MedicoLegal Experts.

"The delay in providing mutual assistance by the allied agencies also leads to delay in disposal of cases," he said.

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