Courts increase, yet over 15,366 cases on hold for 21 years
May, 14th 2012
Despite government efforts to increase the number of courts, the problem of delayed justice continues to plague the city's legal system. Figures accessed through RTI reveal that 15,366 cases that are 21 years or older were pending before the metropolitan magistrates' courts in the city as on March 31 of this year. Beyond this, the courts were still considering another 47,270 cases that were filed 11 to 20 years ago and a further 74,123 cases that were filed six to 10 years ago.
Legal experts and activists blamed the high pendency rate on several reasons, including shortage of judges and defence lawyers' penchant for seeking repeated adjournments. "Delays occur because the accused, in many cases, are powerful and do not want their cases to come up for trial," said former cop-turned-lawyer Y P Singh. "They manage to get indefinite adjournments."
Taking cognisance of the problem, the government increased the number of magistrate courts from 68 in 2011 to 75 in 2012.