Case Pendency in India: A Deep Dive

Case Pendency in India: A Deep Dive

Case Pendency in India

#GS-02 Judiciary

For Prelims

Pending Cases in India:

  • Between 2010 and 2020, pendency across all courts grew by 2.8% annually.
  • As of September 15, 2021, over 4.5 crore cases were pending across all courts in India.
  • Of these, 87.6% cases were pending in subordinate courts and 12.3% in High Courts.
  • Between 2019 and 2020, pending cases increased by 20% in High Courts and 13% in subordinate courts.

Population vs Pendency:

  • High Courts and subordinate courts that serve a larger population have a higher number of pending cases.
  • However, the High Courts of Madras, Rajasthan, and Punjab and Haryana have much higher pendency than the High Courts of Calcutta and Patna (which serve relatively larger populations).

Time limit vs Pendency:

  • In High Courts, 41% cases have been pending for five years or longer.
  • In subordinate courts, nearly one in every four cases has been pending for at least five years.

Vacancies vs Pendency:

  • As on September 1, 2021, the Supreme Court had one vacancy out of the sanctioned strength of 34 judges.
  • In the High Courts, 42% of the total sanctioned posts for judges were vacant (465 out of 1,098).
  • Five High Courts (Telangana, Patna, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Delhi) had more than 50% vacancies.
  • As on February 20, 2020, in subordinate courts, 21% posts out of the sanctioned strength of judges were vacant (5,146 out of 24,018).

Undertrials vs Pendency:

  • As on December 31, 2019, almost 4.8 lakh prisoners were confined in Indian jails.
  • Of these, over two-thirds were undertrials (3.3 lakh).
  • 5,011 undertrials were confined in jails for five years or longer.
  • Uttar Pradesh (2,142) and Maharashtra (394) accounted for over half of such undertrials.

Source “Doubling court strength won’t end pendency: SC