HC spends Rs 6,000 per hearing: report

The Delhi High Court spends over Rs 6,000 to hear each case in a span of four minutes and five seconds,and it will take another 466 years to cover the backlog of litigation at the Capital’s highest court.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 11, 2009 1:50:29 am

The Delhi High Court spends over Rs 6,000 to hear each case in a span of four minutes and five seconds,and it will take another 466 years to cover the backlog of litigation at the Capital’s highest court.

The High Court annual report for 2007-2008,unveiled by Chief Justice of Delhi Ajit Prakash Shah on Tuesday at the Judges’ Conference Room in the High Ccourt complex reveals these statistics for providing appellate justice to a litigant.

“An attempt has been made to analyse the cost of judicial time,” said Justice S Ravindra Bhat. The judge,heading the committee on the report,described the venture as a novel attempt to provide the public an insight into the workings of Delhi’s higher judiciary.

The internal audit shows the court shelled out a whopping Rs 42.45 crore for 213 working days in the financial year of 2007-08.

“The average cost of listing each case before a judge worked out to Rs 1,297. The average court expenditure per minute was Rs 6,327,or Rs 19,93,180 for each working day,” the document states in an attempt to gauge its disposal rate by comparing the time and money spent on each case.

“The expenditure excludes the time spent by judges dictating reserved judgements in the chambers and preparing cases for the next day,as well as time spent on correcting and signing the order in 64-odd cases that are listed each day,” the report says.

The Justice Shah also noted that the court would require another 466 years to wrap up the 2,324 appeals pending before it.

On the sunny side,the report states that 56,612 cases were disposed in the last financial year compared to 47,017 cases filed in the court. There is also a marked reduction in the case pendency,from 79,818 on April 1,2007,to 74,599 by the end of March 2008.

Presently 0.509 appeals are disposed of per day by a single Division Bench (comprising two judges) of the court. Justice Shah said a more “realistic” approach to clear the backlog would be to have three such Benches wrapping up at least one appeal a day.

“That way,we can hope to clear the arrears of Division Bench appeals in five to six years,” he said.

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