Setting the tone for innovation to tackle case arrears,a Delhi High Court judge has decided not to give adjournments in cases that are older than five years.
“No adjournment slip will be entertained in the matters of 2004 and prior years,” reads a caution line on top of the case list for Justice S Ravindra Bhat’s Court Number 9,making it clear to litigants and lawyers about his decision.
The High Court has over 1.06 lakh pending cases in the High Court and with 39 judges to dispose of pending and fresh cases. Under these conditions,the court manages to spare just four minutes and 55 seconds on an average for one hearing in a day,an annual report for 2007-08 said.
Justice Bhat’s initiative in cautioning litigants and lawyers is being in light of the report that had bared worrying facts on the High Court’s case backlog and challenges before it.
He was the chairman of the committee which prepared the High Court’s annual report which conducted a time and cost analysis of its proceedings to conclude that as per the present rate of case disposal it would take more than 466 years to decide all the pending matters.
Lawyers and officials of other courts,who themselves were taken by surprise by Justice Bhat’s move,said it would be interesting see its results.