New Delhi: The Supreme Court, which had a meagre 690 pending cases after one year of its inception in 1950, is reeling under “mounting arrears” which has risen to a whopping 60,938 till last September despite the rise in judges’ strength from 8 to 31.
The data, released by the Supreme Court in the ‘Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2015-2016’, reflects that filing of cases in the apex court has also risen manifold as in its first year, 1,215 cases were filed compared to 59,386 between January to September 30 last year.
The sanctioned strength of judges in the Supreme Court, which came into existence on January 28, 1950, two days after India became a sovereign democratic republic, was eight at the time of its inception, while it is 31 now.
According to the data, out of the total 1,215 case filed in 1950, the apex court disposed of 525 matters leaving 690 cases pending in the first year.
The pendency of cases has increased year after year in the apex court and in 1981, for the first time the pendency at the end of the year crossed the 50,000 mark — at 50,201.
Similarly, in 1989, the pendency of cases breached the one lakh barrier for the first time as it was 1,06,027 at the year end.
However, “the pendency figures shown up to the year 1992 indicates the number of matters after expanded hyphenated number on files. From 1993 onwards, the figures of pendency of matters are actual file-wise, that is, without expanding hyphenated number on files,” the report said.
According to the figures, 1997 was fruitful for the top court as at the end of the year, the total pendency came down to 19,032.
2014 saw total institution of 89,164 cases in the apex court which disposed of 92,722 matters, a record since its inception. At the end of 2015, the pendency was 59,272.
“The mounting arrears of the cases have been a cause of concern for all courts in the country, including the Supreme Court of India. A sustained effort to clear the backlog has resulted in reducing the pendency of this court below the 60,000 mark by the end of the year 2015,” the report said.
Giving further details, the report said, “after the year 2000, there has been an enormous increase in the institution of fresh cases.
“Consistent efforts have been made to ensure that the disposal is higher than the institution. In fact, in the last three years, 2013?2015, the rate of disposal has been consistently higher than the rate of institution”.
The figures of last year till September 30 reflects that 60,938 matters were pending in the apex court, 50,205 of which were civil and 10,733 criminal.
Between January 1 and September 30 last year, 45,415 civil and 13,973 criminal cases were filed in the apex court which disposed of a total of 57,722 cases in nine months.
Besides the pendency in apex court, a whopping 40.54 lakh cases are pending across the country in 24 High Courts which has only 608 judges working out of a total sanctioned strength of 1,079 as per the data compiled till June 30 last year.
In district courts across the country, over 2.81 crore matters are pending as nearly 5,000 posts of judicial officers are vacant in the subordinate judiciary as per the data.
Source: Zee News