More than 50 Lakh Cases Pending in High Courts: Government

Yesterday the Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice answered two significant questions in the Loksabha relating to Pendency of Cases and establishments of E-Courts in the Country.

Following questions were asked regarding the Pendency of cases in the Court (From Lower Courts to High Court) :

1. The number of cases pending in High Courts and Lower Courts in the country along with the details thereof;

2. Whether there is any possibility of a qualitative reduction in the number of the said pending cases if rural courts that are set up at Panchayat level and are accorded the rights to hear cases of limited nature;

3. If so, whether the Government is likely to set up such courts and accord them such rights; and

4. If so, the time by which it is likely to be set up and if not, the reasons therefor?

Asked in Loksabha

Answer to the Question by Ministry of Law and Justice:

  • The Ministry informed that there are total 5152921 cases pending in High Courts, out of which 3677089 are Civil and 1475832 are of Criminal Side.
Serial NumberName of High CourtsPending Cases (Civil )Pending Cases (Criminal)Number of Cases pending in High Courts as on 16.09.2020
1Allahabad High Court399710346967746677
2High Court of Bombay22468555242279927
3Calcutta High Court22293540120263055
4Gauhati High Court401661001150177
5High Court for the State of Telangana19890832852231760
6High Court of Andhra Pradesh17265730467203124
7High Court of Chhattisgarh455892798473573
8High Court of Delhi654192547990898
9High Court of Gujarat9501847100142118
10High Court of Himachal Pradesh61886894170827
11High Court of UT of Jammu &Kashmir and UT of Ladakh59510794667456
12High Court of Jharkhand403164470885024
13High Court of Karnataka16564532045197690
14High Court of Kerala16249544616207111
15.High Court of Madhya Pradesh232187143443375630
16High Court of Manipur37853854170
17High Court of Meghalaya13201021422
18High Court of Punjab & Haryana362372244697607069
19High Court of Rajasthan374582133167507749
20High Court of Sikkim19446240
21High Court of Tripura17923352127
22High Court of Uttarakhand233791478338162
23Madras High Court51136258920570282
24Orissa High Court11533851136166474
25Patna High Court9583974340170179
Total367708914758325152921
As laid before the House on 21.09.2020
  • It was further informed to the House that to provide access to justice to the citizen at their doorsteps and bring about a reduction in case pendency, the Central Government has enacted the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008. As per information made available by State Governments / High Courts, 395 Gram Nyayalayas have been notified so far by 12 States, of which 225 are operational at present. 
  • The issues relating to the operationalization of the Gram Nyayalayas were discussed in the Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers of the States on 7th April 2013. It was decided in the Conference that the State Governments and High Courts should decide the question of the establishment of Gram Nyayalayas wherever feasible, taking into account the local issues and situation.
  • The Central Government has been encouraging the States to set up Gram Nyayalayas by providing financial assistance. As per the scheme for assistance to State Governments for establishing and operating Gram Nyayalayas, the Central Government provides one-time assistance to States towards non-recurring expenses for setting up of Gram Nyayalayas subject to a ceiling of Rs. 18.00 lakhs per Gram Nyayalaya. The Central Government also provides assistance towards recurring expenses for operating these Gram Nyayalayas subject to a ceiling of Rs. 3.20 lakhs per Gram Nyayalaya per year for the first three years.
  • The Central Government has requested the Chief Ministers of States and Chief Justices of High Courts for setting up of Gram Nyayalayas in the respective States. Recently, the Registrars General of High Courts and Law / Home / Finance 
  • Secretaries of State Governments were requested through video conferences held in January 2018, July 2018, November 2018, 24th September – 3rd October 2019 and 18th May – 22nd May, 2020 to set up Gram Nyayalayas and seek financial assistance for operationalising them under the Scheme mentioned above.

Following questions were asked regarding the Establishment of E-Courts :

1. The current status of electronic courts in the country to eliminate the growing burden of cases in courts;

2. Whether e-courts are fully capable of the effective and timely disposal of cases and if so, the details thereof;

3. The details of expenditure likely to be incurred in the e-courts, State/UT-wise;

4. Whether Indian courts have adopted the method of e-filing;

5. If so, the details of the courts where e-filing is compulsory; and

6. the other steps are taken/being taken by the Government to reduce paper wastage and to eliminate the burden of court cases in Indian judiciary?

Asked in Loksabha

Answer to the Question by Ministry of Law and Justice:

  • The Government is implementing the e-Courts Mission Mode Project for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enablement of Lower Courts across the country in association with the committee of the Supreme Court of India. The eCourts Mission Mode Project Phase-II commenced its implementation in 2015. The target set out under the project is the computerization of 16,845 District and Subordinate Courts, which has been completed. Against the total financial outlay of Rs.1670 crores for this Phase, the Government has released a sum of Rs. 1459.52 crore (including Rs. 68.33 crores in 2020-21) to various organizations involved in the implementation of the project. This includes a sum of Rs. 1077.76 crore released to all High Courts, out of which a sum of Rs.790.04 crore has been utilized till 31st August 2020. In the financial year 2020-21, funds have been released to all High Courts for eSewa Kendra for High Courts and District Court Complexes, equipment for VC Cabins and Connectivity in Court Complexes and creating Help Desk Counters for filing in Court Complexes
  • As per information received from Supreme Court E-Committee, 16845 courts have been computerized. 
  • Disposal of cases in courts is primarily within the domain of the judiciary. Timely/Early disposal of cases in courts depends on various factors, such as availability of witnesses, availability of court, number of working days, etc..
  • It was further informed that the Government through computerization of 16,845 District & Subordinate Courts and strengthening the ICT Services under the E-Court Project Phase 2, various services have been provided to the Lawyers, Litigants, Court Officers etc. This Facilitates in expeditious delivery of Justice. National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) for District & Subordinate Courts, created as an online platform under the Project, provides information relating to judicial proceedings/decisions of computerized district and subordinate courts of the country. 
  • Under the eCourts Project, e-filing application has been developed. The E-Committee of the Supreme Court has developed an e-filing system Version 1.0 and created a portal for this purpose. The e-Filing application is integrated into the District Court CIS 3.2 & High Court CIS 1.0 software. The upgraded Version 2.0 for e-filing has also been prepared by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India, and is presented in an advanced stage undergoing security audits. E-filing software application version 2.0 has been prepared with the latest features like Advocate Portfolio, Advocate Clerk entry module, Calendar and integration with social media platforms. Draft Model e-filing rules have been framed and circulated by the E-committee of the Supreme Court for adoption by the various High Courts to develop a standard operating procedure. However, e-filing has not been made compulsory in any court.
  • IT Establishment of Virtual Courts have helped to reduce paper wastage and to eliminate the burden of court cases. Virtual Courts have been established to try traffic challan cases and have met with appreciable results. Presently there are 7 such courts in 6 States viz Delhi (2), Faridabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi and Pune. Virtual Courts are environment friendly and enable adjudication of cases in a paperless manner with e-payment of the fine imposed. More than 16 lakhs cases have been tried by these 7 Virtual Courts. Further to reduce the burden of court cases, the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms has been coordinating for phased liquidation of arrears and pendency in judicial administration.

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