International Justice Day: over 35M cases pending in Indian courts

New Delhi, July 17 (KMS): Every year, July 17 is observed all over the world as the International Justice Day with the aim to identify a strong justice system and promote the rights of the victims.

This day is observed to raise awareness of the importance of criminal justice and to focus on serious crimes around the world.

The South Asian Wire in a report said judges in Indian courts have only a few minutes to hear cases but justice cannot be done in minutes. According to the report, the burden of cases on the Indian judiciary is increasing year by year.

On an average, more than a thousand cases are pending before each judge. Due to the limited time available for hearing in the courts under the burden of pending cases, the basic purpose of justice is in question, it added.

According to South Asian Wire, Pratap Chandra, a senior Supreme Court lawyer, said if we look at the data recently released by the National Judicial Data Grade (NJDG), which oversees the courts at the national level, in India, out of a total of over 37.7 million cases, the High Court, District Court and Tehsil Court have about 3.7 million cases pending for the last 10 years.

Surprising figures from a recent study of short-term hearings and methods of administration of justice in the Supreme Court and High Courts paint a disturbing picture. For example, each judge gives five minutes for a trial. In some high courts, the time is limited to two and a half minutes. A maximum of 15 minutes has been allotted for hearing in various cases. The burden on the courts is not being reduced even after millions of efforts.

According to statistics, India has one judge for every 73,000 people, compared to seven times less in the US. Thus, an average of 1300 cases is pending with each judge of the High Court. This means that the number of judges is insufficient in proportion to the number of students seeking recourse to the courts in the hope of justice.

Senior Advocate Pratap Chandra says that if cases are scheduled for hearing, night courts and fast track and if the number of courts is increased and the request for review in every case is not allowed, then people will get justice in time.

As per the South Asian Wire, 2.8 million cases are pending in district and tehsil courts in India. Out of these, over 500,000 cases are more than two decades old. No decision has been taken on 85,141 cases in three decades. There are more than 4.7 million cases pending before the 25 High Courts across India. Of these, over 920,000 cases have been pending for 10 years. In the last 20 years, more than 660,000 cases are awaiting hearing. The number of cases pending for 30 years is 131,000.

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