NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Law and Justice on Monday said the shortage of judges in the judicial system was not the only reason for mounting pendency of cases in India.
It said lack of proper court management systems and frequent adjournments by judges add to the problem. There are nearly three crore cases pending in courts across India.
The Ministry, in an internal note prepared for the Advisory Council of National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms, stated that the linking of the problem of pendency of cases in courts with the shortage of judges alone may not present the complete picture.
Citing data from the courts of Delhi and Gujarat, which despite having a better judge to population ratio, are still unable to dispose cases at a greater pace, the notes stated, “...states with a higher judge-population ratio such as Delhi (ranked second in terms of the judge-population ratio) and Gujarat (ranked fifth in terms of the judge-population ratio) are still struggling to dispose of pending cases. States such as Tamil Nadu and Punjab which are ranked lower in terms of judge-population ratio have comparatively lesser (sic) number of pending cases.”
The Ministry stated that there were several factors contributing to delay in disposal of cases including lack of court management systems, frequent adjournments, strikes by lawyers, accumulation of first appeals, indiscriminate use of writ jurisdiction and lack of adequate arrangement to monitor, track and bunch cases for hearing.
The note comes in the backdrop of a statement made by the Chief Justice of India T S Thakur in April this year asking the government to increase the number of judges from 21,000 to 40,000 to cut down pendency of cases.