Over 3.93 crore cases are pending in the lower and subordinate courts, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday. In a written reply, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said according to the information available on National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), as of July 30 this year, a total of 3,93,21,607 cases are pending in the lower and subordinate courts.
These include 1,05,10,012 civil cases and 2,88,11,595 criminal cases. Of the total pending cases in lower courts, 1,02,001 are pending disposal for over 30 years. These include 37,423 civil and 64,578 criminal cases.
Disposal of pending cases in courts is within the domain of the judiciary, he pointed out. "No time frame has been prescribed for disposal of various kinds of cases by the respective courts," the minister informed the House adding the government has no role in the disposal of cases in courts. He also said that a total of 12 virtual courts have been set up in Delhi, Faridabad (Haryana), Pune and Nagpur (Maharashtra) Kochi (Kerala), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Guwahati (Assam) and Bengaluru (Karnataka) to try traffic offences.
As of July 12, 2021, these courts have handled 75 lakh cases and realised Rs 160.05 crore in fines. The minister also said video conferencing emerged as the mainstay of the courts during the Covid-induced lockdown as physical hearings and normal court proceedings in the congregational mode were not possible. Since the Covid lockdown started, the district courts heard 74,15,989 cases, while the high courts heard 40,43,300 cases (totalling 1.14 crore) till June 30, 2021, using video conferencing only.