New Delhi: There has been a 68% rise in the pendency of cases since 2007 in the lower courts here posing stiff challenge in the battle to reduce the arrears which has crossed the 12 lakh figure.
The five district courts in Delhi are reeling under the burden of 12,02,130 cases with those relating to dishonouring of cheques alone amounting to 5,08,660, according to official data.
The number of cases pending disposal in Delhi courts last year stood at 9,42,429 which was about 32% higher than the arrears of 7,13,171 in 2007.
The imbalance in the ratio of cases and judges has been cited by experts including the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan as the main hurdle in tackling the problem.
The failure to fill the vacancy of the judges has been one of the reasons for slow disposal of the cases as the data provided by the apex court shows that out of the 591 posts of judges in the lower judiciary, 226 were lying vacant till the beginning of this year.
The CJI has been advocating setting up of additional 10,000 courts to tackle the staggering backlog of 3.5 crore cases across the country.
“There are 15,000 subordinate courts but only about 13,800 something actually are working strength. At least 10,000 courts more should be there,” the CJI had told PTI recently.
The growing pendency of cases in the lower courts in the capital has drawn the attention of the Delhi High Court which has asked the judges of the trial courts to dispose them in time frame of three years.
The increasing figure of pendency in lower courts has been in contrast to the efforts taken by the Delhi High Court and the city government which have been regularly holding evening courts, Lok Adalats and promoting alternate dispute redressal mechanism in the form of arbitration and conciliation.
Of the total number of pending cases, courts of Metropolitan Magistrate here were faced with 9,65,337 cases as on February two this year. The sessions courts here are dealing with 22,829 cases which includes 1,766 murder cases, while a total of 43,024 civil cases are also pending.