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Don't Confuse Pendency of Cases With Arrears, Docket Explosion Signals Public Faith in Judiciary: CJI Dipak Misra

According to CJi Dipak Misra, it’s only cases which are not disposed of within the stipulated period of time or within their case life that ultimately turn into an ‘arrear’.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 28, 2018, 12:11 PM IST
Don't Confuse Pendency of Cases With Arrears, Docket Explosion Signals Public Faith in Judiciary: CJI Dipak Misra
File photo of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. (PTI)

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Friday said that pendency of cases should not be confused with arrears, adding that the institution of more number of cases also connotes enhanced faith of people in the justice delivery system.

Addressing an event in the national capital, the CJI said, “It is to be remembered that every delay is not an arrear. Pendency of large number of cases must not be confused with arrears. The concept of docket explosion is also a sign which signifies that the Indian citizenry reposes faith in the judicial system of the country and are approaching the courts in their quest for justice."

According to Justice Misra, it is only those cases which are not disposed of within the stipulated period of time or within their case life that ultimately turn into an arrear.

"Hence, we must not rush to declare every delay as an arrear and get into a state of disturbance by such ill-founded concepts," he said at the national conference on 'Initiatives to Reduce Pendency and Delays in Judicial System'.

At the same time, the CJI said the problem of pendency and delays has to be accepted and the judiciary has been consciously investing in innovative strategies to tackle these issues.

"Our concerted efforts to reduce and finally eliminate the five-year-old cases in the subordinate courts are befitting results. Arrears Committees of the High Courts have already been advised to supervise this issue and orchestrate a time-bound action plan to curtail the growth of such arrears," pointed out Justice Misra.

He said that although India has a judge-population ratio of approximately

19 per million, which is far lower as compared to other countries like US and China, there has been focused approach to cut down arrears.

Justice Misra referred to about 5,300 vacant posts in the subordinate judiciary, which is grappling with around 3 crore cases, and said that the situation cannot be called satisfactory.

"It is high time that we firmly resolve and prepare a pan-India action plan to eradicate the problem of vacancies in subordinate courts," emphasised the CJI, adding the high courts must act in coordination with the state governments concerned to improve the situation.

Justice Misra suggested that a review mechanism along with suitable guidelines on grouping of cases for prioritisation, timeline for disposal, alternative methods of dispute resolution, fast-tracking of certain cases etc, shall definitely help.

"Explore options of Saturday Courts for cases other than criminal appeals. Every drop counts for it is common place that little drops of water make the mighty ocean. It is small things that add up to produce the huge. It is through persistent efforts and continued application that major accomplishments would finally result," appealed the CJI.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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