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Nearly three crore cases pending, CJI says trial to end within 5 years

Dattu was asked whether steps have been taken to tackle the pendency of cases as several of them have been lingering for as long as 20 years.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: April 5, 2015 9:54 pm
H L Dattu , Chief Justice of India, Judges conference, Lily Thomas, Good Friday, Christians festival, deliverance day, Valmiki Day, national news, India news, nation news If the conference is held on working days, it will be a waste of court’s time. The purpose is that work at high courts across the country is not affected.

With nearly three crore cases pending in Indian courts, Chief Justice of India H L Dattu on Sunday said a deadline has been set to ensure that the trial of a case does not go beyond five years.

“We have taken a decision that we will try our best to see that there is no case pending beyond five years. Five years will be the maximum for the old case. Beyond that no. We are trying our best…,” Justice Dattu told reporters after a conference of Chief Justices of 24 High Courts and Chief Ministers in Delhi.

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He was asked whether steps have been taken to tackle the pendency of cases as several of them have been lingering for as long as 20 years.

He clarified that five year deadline means that trial should end within that time. But an appeal in a higher court may take some more time.

Referring to the Supreme Court, he said “my judges are doing the best to see that the maximum life for a case in the court is not more than two years. We are making all efforts, we are taking all effective steps.”

He said vacancies in judiciary was a big hurdle to deal with the issue of pendency.

“We have got our problems,” Justice Dattu said regarding vacancies. He said as compared to the population of the country, there are very less number of judges.

He also scoffed at suggestions that judges work only 190 days a year. He said these 190 days, judges work 24X7 and the rest of the time they spend at home reading and writing judgments. He said at times, they are unable to spend “fun time” with their families.

To a question on delay in finalising the Delhi gangrape case, he said now the issue is in Supreme Court and is one of the 23 death penalty cases pending.

He said in death penalty cases, the apex court is going by the year since it is pending. “As of now, it is looking at cases pending since 2012 and 2013.”

He said people have to approach court to get the matter listed out-of-turn. “The matter may take some time, but it will be settled soon,” he said.

Referring to the issues which came up at the meeting, he said the state chief justices have authorised him to take a call on having a uniform judicial service commission to appoint district judges and members to the higher judiciary.

He will now set up a committee of SC Judges to recommend him “best method and procedure” to appoint judges to higher judiciary and district courts.

Justice Dattu pointed out that some participants were of the view that written test for appointing judges in subordinate judiciary should be done away with as people fear failing in the test and they feel that it could damage their reputation as a lawyer.

But at the same time, CJI said people who cannot write will find it difficult to write judgments.

There were also strong suggestions to do away with evening courts as the issue has not caught up with litigants, he said.

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  1. K
    K S
    Apr 7, 2015 at 12:40 am
    CJI seeking to enhance the retiring age of Judges in the garb of top cl Lawyers in the age group of 50-55 years refusing elevation tantamount to clear admissions that present of Judges of Higher Judiciary doesn't hail from among the top Lawyers. On the other hand the tenure of High Courts and Supreme Court Judges must be limited to ten years only in total besides direct elevation to SC in no case before sixty years of age. The CJI is seeking only perpetuation of long tenure as long as twenty or more years. The Country requires enhancement of number of Judges not retirement age to 70 years Alas! People have strange desires to die in the Chair.
    1. R
      Raj Manglani
      Sep 20, 2015 at 9:11 pm
      Even when cases are decided, the judgements are vague without granting the reliefs asked for, leading to endless rounds of appeals and re-appeals If either party wants to delay, all they have to do is pay bribes and get adjournments after adjournments.
      1. S
        Apr 5, 2015 at 10:39 pm
        Five year means 5�365�24�3600=157680000 seconds. Now, 156780000seconds�30000000cases= 5.256seconds per case. Achieving it seems to be very very difficult. So, upliftment of morality and kindness of common man and finding ways of out of court peaceful ways of discussion based solutions for cases over simple issues can go a long way in solving the matter of pending cases.
        1. C
          Apr 5, 2015 at 11:32 pm
          1. G
            Apr 6, 2015 at 12:06 am
            Of course he points out that the higher courts will keep inserting themselves through stay after stay. So, criminals you have nothing to fear. A big part of the problem is that the courts aren't answerable to anybody.
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