When will judiciary fill up the 4,937 vacancies in lower courts?

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New Delhi, Nov 28 The war of words between the union government and the judiciary was out once again in the open. While Chief Justice of India, T S Thakur blamed the government for delaying the filling up of 442 judicial vacancies in the High Courts. Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad too retorted by saying that the judiciary too had not filled up vacancies in the lower courts.

T S Thakur

If one were to look at the issues relating to pendency, a word that has become synonymous with the judiciary, then the problem lies in the lower courts. 2,30,02468 cases are pending before the various courts as per the statistics available with the National Judicial Data Grid.

The other problem is with regard to the vacancies in the lower judiciary. The sanctioned strength in the lower courts is 21,320. Currently there are 4,937 vacancies. Litigants complain the most about the slow speed at which cases are disposed off in the lower courts. The average time taken to dispose off a case before the sessions court is one year and two months as per a survey conducted by the Rajasthan and Tripura High Court.

Slow disposal, high pendency:

The slow rate of disposal could be due to two factors. One is the large number of cases that are being filed. Second would be the shortage of judicial officers especially in the lower courts. The survey shows that in the trial court the average time taken to dispose off a case is is anything between 94 and 822 days. In the sessions court the average time taken ins one year and two months.

Data would also show that there are 226 cases relating to under trial prisoners which have been pending for the past ten years. 52 under trial prisoners have been in jail for over 10 years now. In the past three years the data would show that there are 18,000 cases pending relating to under trial prisoners.

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