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Justice Lalit’s heading SC, gives record for the judiciary, pendency of cases to all-time low of 69,461

(This article is written by Sudhir Sudhakar, Consulting Editor)

India’s judiciary, although, is believed to be one of the best in the world, but it faces a lot of obstacles to deal with including pendency, infrastructure, judge litigants ratio, frequent adjournments of matters, lesser number of judges in Courts and many others.

After the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit, on August 27, took over as the head of the institution and as the 49th CJI of the Supreme Court, he decided to be very fast and as a result, his prioritisation policy in taking speedy steps as far as case lists and disposal of cases are concerned, as a result of which, the disposal of the case were at a very faster rate and pendency is at a record low for the very first time.

This time today on the 153rd birth anniversary of the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, there is some good news for the Supreme Court, as the pendency of cases has drastically reduced to a low of 69,461.

As per the Supreme Court office, which has today released the data, BBC has learnt, it revealed the pending cases at August 2022 wnd were: 70,310. But at the end of September 30, 2022, the pending cases stood at 69,461, all time low since last 1 year.

“The Supreme Court released pendency figures for September 2022. The pending cases at August end 2022, stood at 70,310. Now, the pending cases at September end 2022, stood at 69,461,” the office of the Supreme Court in its statement released, said.

India’s top legal experts, on the very less pendency of cases, said that from the latest data released, it shows the disposal of pendency of cases at the Supreme Court has increased from August 30 to September 30, 2022 by approximately 10-15 percent. With many cases being disposed of, in a lesser time, shows good signs of progress, very encouraging for litigants, which is very beneficial for the society and the judiciary.

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice (Retired) Madan Bhimrao Lokur, said that looking at the figures I can say that it is encouraging and great amount of confidence and satisfaction for litigants, as many cases are disposed of within this small time period.

“The data shows a great amount of encouragement, confidence and satisfaction for litigants, as many cases are disposed of within this small time period of one month. The data shows that the Supreme Court and judges are doing an excellent job. If there is a will to do something positive, then, it can be done. I believe, the momentum will be kept up,” Justice (Retired) Lokur said.

Former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and Senior Supreme Court lawyer, K C Kaushik said that this data is a super one, the disposal rate is also good, and encouraging, and good sign for all.

KC Kaushik Ex Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and Senior Supreme Advocate

849 cases have been disposed of in a month in itself shows great deal of positivity and great signs of development to bridge the pendency of cases. The latest data released shows the disposal of pendency of cases at the SC has increased from August 30 to September 30, 2022 by approximately 10-15 percent,” Kaushik said.

Another noted legal expert and senior Supreme Court’s noted criminal lawyer, Kamini Jaiswal, said that the present CJI Lalit, himself was a lawyer and an Advocate-On-Record (AOR) before being elevated as the CJI, and thereby he knows all the nitty-gritty of the system.

“Justice Lalit was himself a lawyer and also an AOR (Advocate-On-Record) and he thereby knows the system and mechanism very well. Thereby he develops the system in a very effective and possibly maximum productivity in a very lesser time period. And no doubt, the pendency level has gone down at present. It has helped many in a long way. He also realizes the need and practice of lawyers. I think, in my opinion, the system is doing well at present,” Jaiswal said.

“This data or statistics indicates that judges have shown sensitivity and consider the plight of the litigants in disposing of so many cases within this very small time period of one month. It is a very good positive sign for the judiciary. Let this momentum continue,” Jaiswal said.

As per the data available on the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), more than 59.56 lakh cases are pending across all the State High Courts in the country as of August 24, 2022. Even in the case of the Supreme Court, more than 71,000 cases were pending as of August 01, 2022.

Former Allahabad High Court Judge, Justice S R Singh said that yes, the data shows good progress in disposal of pendency of cases. “The disposal is huge progress. The data shows that the disposal level has gone very high. But the momentum must be carried forward by the successor of CJI Lalit, Justice Dr Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud, who will be likely the next CJI. Let us continue to do the good work further after this also,” Justice (Retired) Singh said.

Justice Singh also said that the data showed that the Central Government is fully committed to speedy disposal of cases in accordance with Article 21 of the Constitution and reducing pendency. The Government has taken several initiatives to help the judiciary in also bridging the pendency of cases at the Supreme Court.

Retd Justice S R Singh Allahabad High Court

The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its sincere effort also suggested and given its ideas on many occasions to the Courts and especially to the Supreme Court, to reduce pendency of cases. These measures also included that are 30 years old should be completed by 2025, while cases that are 20-30 years old should be completed by 2028. Similarly, cases that are 10-20 years old should be completed by 2033 and cases that are five years old should be completed by 2047.

“If this plan is followed and it could be hoped that there will be a 60 per cent reduction in pendency by 2030. As a result, a 90 per cent reduction in pending cases may be planned by 2047,” a law Ministry release said.

The model of high courts in Gujarat and Punjab, where morning and evening courts are held for phased reduction of arrears where case pendency is high, has also been proposed.

Legalobserver Desk
Legalobserver Desk

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