IAS Mains Indian Polity Notes: Problem Of Pending Cases in India

Updated On -

Jan 6, 2017

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Vivek Bansal

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From the past stats taken from various press releases, there are more than 3 crore pending cases in the courts of India. Many cases are pending for more than 10 years. Below are the approximate stats of pending cases in Supreme Court, High Court and Various level courts.

  • Supreme Court: 60 Thousand cases
  • Various High Courts: 42 lakh cases
  • District and Sub-Ordinate Courts: 2.7 crore cases 

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Why Too Many cases are Pending in Indian Court?

Every year almost 5 crore cases are filed in the Indian Courts and judges dispose only 2 crore of them.

The reasons are:-

  1. Increase in awareness about Rights for Common Man

The recent socio – economic advances, technology enhancement and awareness of legal rights, make the people of India to approach courts for Justice.

  1. New Mechanisms and Rights

As govt. created separate legislations for new rights like “Right to Information” and “Right to Education”, made the people to knock the doors of Justice. Also, active judiciary has created new devices like Public Interest Litigation which further resulted in increase in number of cases.

  1. Less Number of Judges

There are only 21000 judges in India. Present Day Judge to Population Ratio is 10 to 1 million. The law commission report of 1987 suggested that it would be 50 to 1 million. Population in India increased over 25 crores since 1987.

More than 50% of the post are vacant. There is conflict between judiciary and executive for the Appointment of Judges in all level Courts of India.

Also, the allowance like paid vacancies, when there are less number of judges; the appointed judges takes long vacations.

  1. Less Number of Courts
  • Indian Judiciary has not sufficient resources. Both the Center and State does not want to increase the spending with respect to judiciary.
  • Allocation of budget for judiciary is as low as 0.1% to 0.4%.
  • Modern Technology has not reached to all people of India.
  1. Large number of Litigations from Govt. Side

The Govt. is the largest Litigant in India as it is responsible for nearly half of the pending cases. Many cases are the cases which are filed by one department against the other department. Also in many cases when a govt. files a case, it is seen that govt. side fails to prove the allegations.

  1. Low Judicial Quality in Lower Courts.

It is further seen that Indian Judicial system has failed to attract the best and talented students. Quality of the judges in lower level courts are not upto the mark. As the decision making turns out to be poor and lazy. The party has to take case to high court which further increases the number of cases.

  1. Archaic Laws or Vague Drafting of Laws

The archaic laws framed in the law books, faulty or vague drafting of laws and their multiple interpretations by the various courts are also reasons for prolonged litigation. Some of the laws are out dated means they are framed back in 1880s.

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Why can’t the number of Judges be increased?

SC Chief Justice Takur mourns the “inaction” by the executives for increasing the number of Judges to 40000 from present day 21000. He blame the Centre for not increasing the number of courts and judges in the country. He accused the centre govt. stopping the appoint of judges to high courts.

More Productive Days?

In 2014, Justice RM Lodha, Former Chief Justice of India, proposed to make India Judiciary to work  throughout the year in order to make reduction in Number of pending cases in Courts.

However, the proposal says that there is not going to increase in Working days or Working hours. It only meant that the different judges would go on vacation in different period of the year.

But, The Bar Council of India rejected this proposal mainly because it might cause inconvenience for the advocates who have worked throughout the year.

Repercussions of Pending Cases in Indian Courts

Lets see what are the consequesnces of the Pending Cases:

  • The Common man’s faith in Indian Judiciary system is low
  • Under Trail Prisoners are due of justice
  • Economic reforms are done only on papers, executions take time
  • Also, Foreign Investors remain doubtful about the delivery of justice. This also affects the success of Make in India Program.

Solutions for problem of Pending cases

There are various solutions suggested by various officials:

  • The Govt. atleast 50,000 judges to create efficient Judiciary system in India.
  • Fix the NJAC controversy at the earliest and start appointing judges in Supreme Court and High Courts
  • More Courts – Fast Track courts, Gram Nyayalayas and Lok Adalats

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.