Slow wheels of justice

The delivery of justice has been delayed to tens of millions of Indian citizens for decades.

Published : Aug 26, 2022 15:45 IST

A view of the High Court of Karnataka.

A view of the High Court of Karnataka. | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

For long the issue of delayed justice has been highlighted in the media and endlessly debated in civil forums. But the enormity of the situation has become clearer with the availability of granular data in recent times, which delineate in excruciating detail how many cases are stuck in the judicial backlog and how much time it takes between a case appearing before the court and its disposal.

The National Judicial Data Grid displays case dashboards on its website that give a thorough breakdown of the situation, with separate portals for District and High Courts, and provide a broader picture of how vast and overburdened the judicial country's system is.

Also read: Indian judiciary needs reforms

Although this column focuses on High Courts and the pendency and disposal of cases in that realm, no discussion on the delay of justice would be complete without a mention of the situation in district and taluka courts. informs us that as of mid-August, there were 3,413 District and Taluka Court complexes, where the total number of pending cases was a mind-boggling 41.83 million. This, despite these courts together disposing 1.37 million cases in July 2022 alone. Also, on any given day, upwards of 2,50,000 cases are listed.

Also read: New legal aid system needed

There are 39 High Court complexes where a total of about 5.96 million cases are still pending. The High Courts have together disposed 33.65 million cases till date.

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