Over 3.5 lakh cases pending in Orissa High Court

India on 19 August 2013
Location : Orissa, India | Source : The Hindu

The Orissa High Court here is burdened with pending cases and this is mounting as the number of cases disposed of every year is far less than the number of cases instituted.

According to official sources, there are now 3,55,631 cases pending in the HC by the end of June this year.

While a little less than two lakh of these pending cases are main cases of both civil and criminal in nature, a record 1.6 lakh miscellaneous cases arising out of these main cases are still pending disposal by June 30, 2013, the sources added.

A statistic reveal that on an average nearly 10,000 civil (main) cases and 11,000 criminal (main) cases are instituted in the High Court in every quarter of the year. With it, are added another 10,000 miscellaneous cases thereby registering more than 30,000 cases in every three months.

But due to dismal disposal rate, the cases pile up every month and every year nearly 40,000 cases add up to the pending list.

The mounting backlog of cases has created a massive trust deficit and therefore the legal luminaries across the country are now focusing on clearance of this huge backlog in order to win back the trust of the people on judiciary.

In a recent programme here last week, the newly-appointed Chief Justice of India Mr Justice P. Sathasivam too expressed concern over the same.

While the legal experts here feel that the vacancy of judges is the main reason behind the mounting of pending cases, many, like the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik suggests measures like alternative dispute redressal mechanisms such as Lok Adalat for reducing the burdens on courts.

The Law Commission of India, a decade ago had suggested for increasing the strength of judges in Orissa High Court to 29 for clearance of backlog of cases within a period of five years. But the Odisha Government, citing financial crunch has sanctioned only 22 judges and shockingly, the HC has never witnessed at least 18 judges in its Bench even once during this period.

Against the sanctioned strength, the HC in June this had the opportunity to have 14 judges, including the Chief Justice when three permanent judges were sworn in, still leaving a vacancy of eight other posts.

The High Court has never had at least 18 judges out of sanctioned strength of 22 judges

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