Four Indian states and one Union Territory has fast-tracked decades old court cases and solved most of them, bringing down judicial pendency cases to almost zero! It must be treated as a benchmark for countrywide judicial system, which still bears with slow, very slow moving courts.
The common perception about Indian courts, especially civil courts is ‘file a case and get yourself into years and years of court trials’; which sadly, is true. As per stats, 2.54 crore cases are still pending in 17000 subordinate courts – not counting the cases under Supreme Courts and some even last decades long! Such a sluggish judiciary system means undermined inefficient justice delivery – so much that sometimes the people involved in the case pass away before justice is ruled out. Oh and just so we know, of the 2.54 crore cases – 23 lakh pending cases are almost a decade old, that makes it 9% of the total pending cases! Can you imagine the scenario!
Luckily, four states and one Union Territory (UT): Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Chandigarh, have initiated fast-track case solving under which decade-old pending cases were immediately solved. This system has helped all of them to boil down the rate of pending cases to almost zero – which has never happened before in India. The court cases belong to subordinate courts, so the cases which come under Supreme Court’s jurisdiction have not been considered. Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are also close to clearing all the 10-year-old pending legal cases and have reduced them to only 1%. Although this is an achievement at grass-root level, the Indian judiciary system still has 25 other states and 6 union territories with piles over piles of pending court cases.
It is almost like having a messy home situation when we have no idea about where to begin with, but once it is initiated – we just flow with the flow. So the point is, initiating is the toughest part and now that it has been done by these states, it must be used as a foot-path-track by other states to be destined to zero pendency rate. Large number of lagged judgements also means that there are equal number of under-trails waiting in jails – people are actually serving for much greater time in jails rather than what their actual punishment would have been. Almost two-third or prisoners are just waiting for their cases to be heard in courts! This must be changed; it is unfair – Indian judiciary system must be inspired from all the four states.