Case flow management may stem backlog in courts

Case flow management may stem backlog in courts

“To ensure speedy trial, the court has to monitor case programmes,” a Supreme Court official said.

WITH OVER 2.18 crore cases pending in various district courts of the country, Justice Madan B Lokur of the Supreme Court suggested a new subject which would guide judicial officers on “how to manage cases” to be introduced in the curriculum.  Elaborating on it, he said, “A new subject — case flow management — can be added in the training schedule of judicial officers.”

While speaking to Chandigarh Newsline at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy in Sector 43, Justice Lokur who was in town on Tuesday for the training session of judges from Sri Lanka, said, “I gave my lecture on case flow management wherein the judicial officers undergoing training were suggested to avoid adjournments in cases. This will prevent pendency of cases in the courts.”

On being asked whether case flow management could be added as a subject in academics, he said, “It is a semi-management subject and can be a part of the curriculum. I gave tips to the trainee judicial officers on how they should manage the cases and ensure that the backlog doesn’t increase. For example, the judicial officers should avoid frequent adjournments in a case and if a lawyer is seeking adjournment, they should avoid it.”

Citing a World Bank report published in 2013, Justice Lokur said, “Alternative dispute settlement processes may encompass a broad range of options to resolve cases through mediation outside the court. Thus, alternative dispute settlement is one of the popular methods to resolve cases and prevent pendency.”


Lokur further stated that the court needs to follow a differentiated case management (DCM) process that provides multiple tracks for case disposal. “To ensure speedy trial, the court has to monitor case programmes,” he added.

On mediation programmes functional in the judiciary, the judge specified that there are eight trainers in Haryana, four in Punjab and five in Chandigarh.
“A judicial officer has to undergo a training of 40 hours and complete 10 meditations to be appointed as mediator,” he specified.