Thursday, June 13, 2024

Three lakh cases now pending with SC, HC

More than three lakh cases — civil, writ, original and criminal — are pending with the High Court (HC) division and the Appellate Division is yet to dispose of more than 11,000 cases, official sources said. The sources also said the cases were piling up every year due to the poor logistics of the judiciary. At least 150 cases are filed with the HC every day for disposal, they pointed out.
The Supreme Court (SC) annual report of 2007 reveals that a total of 2.93 lakh cases were pending with the HC division for disposal. The SC report of the year 2009 says that 1.67 lakh cases were waiting to be disposed of by the HC in the year 2003, and over 1.84 lakh cases in 2004. The number of cases increased to 2.05 lakh in 2005.
According to the SC annual report of 2010, 3.1 lakh cases were pending with the HC. Among them, over 1.8 lakh were criminal cases, 77,000 civil cases and over 50,000 were writ and original cases.
Of the 1.8 lakh pending criminal cases, over one lakh were filed under Section-498 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) seeking bail and the rest under 561(A) of the CrPC seeking to quash criminal charges. The cases have piled up every year since 1996.
A high official of the writ branch of the High Court said, on condition of anonymity, that every day the court registered at least 150 cases, filed to challenge the legality of various actions of the authorities.
He also said the number of pending cases had been increasing day by day since 1991, but there had not been an increase in the number of officials to handle them.
Eminent lawyer Dr M Zahir told The Independent: “All of us including advocates, concerned officers and judges are working slowly.” That’s why a lot of cases are pending with the High Court, he added.
“The authorities should set a time-frame for disposal of every case. If it is followed then the cases would be disposed of quickly,” Dr Zahir said.
Justice TH Khan said: “If the government wants to bring down the number of pending cases then judges should be appointed considering their efficiency, skill and professional ability.”
The number of pending cases has been increasing due to growing population and its attendant problems. “Now the government needs to increase the number of judges and officials in the HC, and the selections should focus on quality and efficiency, Justice Khan said adding, otherwise the pending cases will keep on increasing.
The sources said that in 2010, the then Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque had taken special measures for quick disposal of over one lakh cases pending with the High Court.
Following his initiative, at least 40 thousand cases had been disposed of between October and December last year. Besides, a close monitoring system has been introduced to improve case management and quick disposal, the sources added.
During the tenure of the then CJ Khairul Haque, the Appellate Division had disposed of a number of cases, but the number of pending cases has been increasing at the Appellate Division, the sources said.
Experts opined that special measures should be taken to reduce the backlog. If needed, some special benches may be assigned to quickly dispose of the cases, they added.

Courtesy of The Independent

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