New Delhi: In order to incentivize quicker disposal of cases, the department of justice (DOJ) is going to display the names of three district courts which top the list of disposing cases before them.

This board, ambitiously named the Justice Clock, will display the top three district courts each month in terms of their disposal of cases.

Snehlata Srivastava, DOJ secretary, took to microblogging website Twitter to say, “Justice Clock board at Jaisalmer house to show top 3 district courts in disposal of cases each month and other things. Trial run is on."

The office of the DOJ is based out of Jaisalmer House in the national capital.

According to the website for tracking e-courts, 2,861 district and taluka court complexes have about 23 million cases pending between them.

Will such an incentive ensure speedier disposal of cases?

According to Alok Prasanna Kumar, lawyer and visiting fellow at think-tank Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, this is a first step towards bringing data around judicial performance to the fore, but it has to be developed further.

“It’s a first step. In a sense, it is useful. Going further, based on feedback, DOJ should look to make this a much more comprehensive thing. More dimensions can be added like which court disposed of the most murder cases which are possibly very heavy, or which disposed of most land acquisition cases which involve hundreds of people. Split the cases state wise, since each has its own problems and then compare with best performing courts of other states. All of this nuance is necessary," he said.

The National Judicial Data Grid, which displays cases being handled by 17,240 judges, shows a total of 23,535,652 cases pending.

Criminal cases make up 15,871,969, or 67%, of these pending cases.

Of the total cases, about 10% or 2.4 million cases have been pending for over 10 years. Over four million cases, or 17%, are pending for more than five years.

Incentivizing disposal of cases in this manner is also unlikely to cause hurried disposal, Kumar added.

“There’s a check against people simply disposing of cases to be on the (Justice Clock) board. The check is an appeal and you have the high court which has seen your track record," he added.

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