There are more than 2.18 crore cases pending in district courts across the country; 12 states have more than 5 lakh cases to decide; while a little more than one case, on an average, is awaiting conclusion for at least 10 years. Of the total pending cases, more than 20 lakh — almost 10 per cent — have been filed by women while over 3 per cent are being fought by senior citizens.
Close on the heels of a debate triggered by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur’s impassioned appeal to the government over shortage of judges and lack of infrastructure, the Supreme Court’s E-Committee has released the latest statistics on pending cases in district courts.
The data, as of April 30, highlights the glaring problem of the huge pendency across states and Union territories. Over 2.18 crore cases remain pending, of which more than 22.5 lakh cases have failed to be decided in the last 10 years — 10.3 per cent of total pendency.
Around 38.3 lakh cases are pending for more than five years but less than 10 years — 17.5 per cent of the total number of cases. Therefore, more than one-fourth of cases pending across district courts in the country are pending for at least five years. And 29.5 per cent of total cases, or 64.5 lakh cases, have been pending for more than two years, according to the E-Committee’s report.
The statistics present a grim picture, for more than half the number of total pending cases have remained unresolved for at least two years. Criminal cases, which intrinsically involve people’s liberty, account for almost double the number of civil cases among the total cases.
The data further show that 12 states have more than 5 lakh cases awaiting disposal, of which seven states have pendency exceeding 10 lakh cases. In Uttar Pradesh, over 6.5 lakh cases are pending for more than 10 years, which is around 30 per cent of the oldest cases across the country.
The E-Committee’s report also adduced data separately for cases filed by women and senior citizens which are yet to be decided. Of the total pending cases, more than 20 lakh cases have been filed by women. It is 9.6 per cent of total pendency.
This figure is 3.19 per cent of total pending cases in cases of senior citizens.
UP, Maharashtra and Bihar are the three states with maximum number of pending cases being fought by women and senior citizens.