That India has huge number of pending cases in the courts is not news. Chief Justice of India T. S. Thakur when got emotion in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over government's inaction in raising the number of judges, it did bring more attention to the serious issue of pendency of cases.
The then Chief Justice of India H L Dattu had said in 2015 that a deadline has to be set to ensure that the trial of a case does not go beyond five years as then there were nearly three crore cases pending in Indian courts.
Judges blame government for pendency:
Chief Justice of India T S Thakur in an emotional tone had said in the presence of Prime Minister that it was not right to shift the entire burden on the judiciary and that he was sad that government was not increasing the number of judges from present 21,000 to 40,000 as the judges handle the avalanche of litigation.
As per the Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, early this year there were four vacancies in the Supreme Court and as on 10th of November 2015 there were 426 vacancies in the HIgh Court. The total approved strength in the High Courts is 1,029.
The Law Minister had also confessed that there are many vacancies in the subordinate courts too. In the subordinate courts where the total strength is 20,358 around 15,360 posts are occupied rest are vacant.
The government during the 2015 conference of Chief Justices and Chief Ministers had requested all chief justices to fill up the vacancies as early as possible.
Solutions offered by the government:
Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda had in the beginning of this year said that to solve the problem of pendency of cases his government will prepare a National Litigation Policy that will bring down the number of cases involving the government.
Steps taken to reduce pendency:
Government has undertaken pendency reduction drives in recent years.
Several High Courts have established arrears committees after government requested the chief justices and the chief ministers to establish them in 2015.
Very big lok adalats are being held and cases are resolved quickly there. In the year 2015 44 lakh cases were cleared in the mega lok adalats.
Apart from mega lok adalats weekly and monthly lok adalats are also being held.
It was found out that obsolete and redundant laws not only create confusion but also increase pendency of cases. Government of India thus identified more than 1,700 such laws and but them before Parliament to be done away with. Thanks to the efforts of the government more than 1,200 such laws which were not in use have been removed.
The government has emphasised on the e-courts project and thereby government has already computerised 13,273 courts. Government is boosting infrastructure development so that more court halls are available. At present more than 2,600 court halls are under construction. Currently around 15,500 court halls are available.
The Commercial Courts Act has also been passed so that commercial disputes are resolved in time bound manner. If a case is resolved within six months time some incentives will be provided to the arbitrator.