Madras HC sits over huge backlog of cases

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Chennai, Apr 22 (UNI) A total of 4,28,832 civil and criminal cases were pending before the Madras High Court and its Madurai Bench till December last, Tamil Nadu Law Minister Duraimurugan told the State Assembly today.

The Minister gave this information, while replying to a debate on the demand for grants for his department in the House.

He said while 3,65,496 cases, both civil and criminal, were pending before the High Court in the city, 63,336 cases were pending before its Madurai bench, which started functioning in 2004.

The High Court began this year with an opening balance of 3,16,096 civil and 26,414 criminal cases, while 1,33,594 new civil and 56,272 criminal cases were filed during 2007. As on December 31, 2007, it had disposed of 1,13,606 civil cases and 53,274 criminal cases.

The Madurai Bench this year began with an opening balance of 56,877 civil and 7,571 criminal cases. It attracted 48,693 civil and 15,866 criminal cases during 2007, he said, adding that it had disposed of 48,830 civil cases and 16,841 criminal cases as on December 31 last.

The pendency of civil and criminal cases in the subordinate courts in the State was more alarming as a whopping 9,28,046 civil and criminal cases were pending as on December 31 last.

These courts had an opening balance of 4,43,656 civil and 4,13,153 criminal cases as on January one, 2007. As many as 7,88,435 new civil and 8,46,835 criminal cases were filed in 2007. These courts had disposed of 7,33,073 civil and 8,30,960 criminal cases during 2007, Mr Duraimurugan said.

He said the pendency of cases in various courts across the State continued to increase and it was a cause for serious concern. As a way to tackle the high pendency, the Government had accepted the proposal of the High Court and constituted 56 evening courts during 2007-08.

Of the 56 courts sanctioned, 37 were functioning and they had disposed of 57,322 petty cases in six months. In a bid to expedite disposal of cases, the Government has decided to constitute 'Camp courts' this year on a trial basis, he added.

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