DEHRADUN: In a first since the formation of state, the total cases pending in the court of Uttarakhand state have registered a decline of 13.40 per cent, revealed an RTI query.
The response also revealed that 22 per cent of judicial posts in Uttarakhand are vacant as of December 31, 2019. Out of 294, total 66 remain vacant hampering the deciding of cases.
"Decline in pendency is a good sign for the system as well as the people. However, the vacancies of the judges should be filled in to speed up disposal of the cases," said Nadimuddin, the activist and lawyer who filed the RTI query.
All these posts are from subordinate courts including ranks of district judge, civil judge and additional district judge.
However, the decline was registered only in subordinate courts while cases increased in the high court.
Till December 2019, the total pendency was over 2.30 lakh (2,30,688) cases in the courts in comparison to 2.66 lakh the previous year, till December 31, 2018, revealed an RTI filed by Nadimuddin.
In the Uttarakhand high court, 35,407 cases till December 31, 2019 are pending. Out of total pending cases in the HC, 222,60 are civil matters while 13,147 are criminal cases.
In December 2018, total 34,049 cases were pending in the high court out of which 21,344 were civil matters while 12,705 were criminal cases.
The activist sought the information from information department of Uttarakhand high court under Right to Information Act, 2005.
Total 1,95,281 cases are pending in the subordinate courts of 13 districts of Uttarakhand state.
In the year 2014, total pendency in the state was 1,68,431 which increased to 1,93,298 in 2015; 2,22,922 in year 2016 and 2,10,018 in year 2017.
Dr Kartikey Hari Gupta, doctorate holder in law and law practitioner in the high court, commenting on the present situation said, "Technology problems have made online functioning of courts extremely difficult. Without physical functioning of courts, pendency problem is not going to be solved. Every day clients are calling us to ask when the court will resume. We are ready to work with precautions."