SRINAGAR — There are 8,382 cases which are pending in excess of 10 years before Jammu and Kashmir High court, official data revealed.
The High Court, which is working with less than its strengthened number of judges, also has 24,392 cases pending for the last five to 10 years and the number of cases awaiting adjudication for upto five years stands at 42,830 as on ending February 2020, Minister of Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad stated in a written reply to a question by parliamentarian Dr Kirodi Lal Meena.
The MBBS doctor-turned-politician from Rajasthan had sought details about the total number of civil and criminal cases pending in the Supreme Court and different High Courts of India.
Prasad said that as per the information provided by the Supreme Court, total 60,603 cases are pending in top court, out of which 49,088 are civil matters and 11,515 are of criminal nature as on March 03.
Regarding high court, the minister said as on ending February, 46.15 lakh cases are pending in 25 different high courts and 27.68 lakh are going on for less than five years, 9.25 lakh for five to 10 years and 8.97 lakh for more than a decade.
The minister said that the disposal of cases in courts is within the domain of the judiciary and the government has no role in it. However, the Government, Prasaid said, is committed to speedy disposal of cases and their reduction.
“The National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms has adopted many strategic initiatives, including improving infrastructure (court halls and residential units) for Judicial Officers of District and Subordinate Courts, leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for better justice delivery, filling up of vacant positions of judges in High Courts and Supreme Court, reduction in pendency through follow up by Arrears Committees at District, High Court and Supreme Court level, emphasis on Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and initiatives to fast track special type of cases,” he said.
Regarding filling up of vacant positions in Supreme Court, High Courts and District and Subordinate Courts, he said from May 1, 2014, to February 29, 2020, 35 Judges were appointed in Supreme Court.
He said 522 new judges were appointed and 443 Additional Judges made permanent in the High Courts. He said the sanctioned strength of Judges of High Courts has been increased from 906 in May, 2014 to 1079 currently.
Regarding the reduction in pendency through follow up by arrears committees, Prasad said the panels have been set up in High Courts to clear cases pending for more than five years. He said arrears Committees have been set up under District Judges too.
Prasad also laid emphasis on Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). Referring to Commercial Courts Act, 2015, amended on August 20, 2018, he said it stipulates mandatory pre-institution mediation and settlement of commercial disputes.
He said amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 has been made by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015 for expediting the speedy resolution of disputes by prescribing timelines.