Pending cases in India
1. Indian judiciary would take 320 years to clear the backlog of 31.28 million cases pending in various courts including High courts in the country.
2. Every judge in the country will have an average load of about 2,147 cases.
3. India has 14,576 judges as against the sanctioned strength of 17,641 including 630 High Court Judges. This works out to a ratio of 10.5 judges per million population.
4. The Apex court in 2002 had suggested 50 judges per million population.
The Law Commission in its 120th Report recommended that the strength of judges per million population may be increased from 10.5 to 50 judges. The present judge strength in India is 14 per million population (approx.). Government has already increased the Judge strength in the High Courts by 152.
With regard to subordinate judiciary, the Supreme court, in its judgement of 21st March, 2002, in All India Judges’ Association & Ors Vs. Union of India & Ors., directed that an increase in the Judge strength from the existing 10.5 per 10 lakh people to 50 judges per 10 lakh people should be effected and implemented within a period of five years in a phased manner to be determined and directed by the Union Ministry of Law. The Central Government have filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court praying that the increase in judge strength in the Union Territories for which Central Government is administratively responsible be allowed based on workload and pendency of cases. The matter is sub-judice. As directed by the apex court, the Central Government also filed an affidavit indicating the quantum of funds required in compliance of the aforesaid Supreme Court’s judgement irrespective of the category of funds that will be drawn.
All State Governments are also party to this case. Under article 235 of the Constitution of India, the administrative control over the members of subordinate judiciary in the States vests with the concerned High Court and the State Government. Accordingly, the Central Government has requested all the State Governments for taking necessary action to increase the judge strength as per the direction of the Supreme Court and also to fill up the vacant posts of judicial officers on urgent basis.