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Report No. 77

9.11. Control of arrears by High Courts.-

We feel that it is primarily for the High Court in each State to ensure that arrears of cases in subordinate courts are cleared or brought under control. Repeated reports of the Law Commission or other Committees appointed for the purpose are not going to bring forth the desired results unless adequate steps for clearing old cases are taken in every State. The State Governments on their part should and all effective co-operation and assistance to the High Courts for this purpose.

The Chairman of the Law Commission was informed during his visit to one of the States that as many as sixty posts in the Munsiff's cadre were lying vacant for many months and a number of the munsiff courts in several talukas were not functioning at all for want of presiding officers. This was a perturbing revelation.

Apart from the inadequacy in the strength of the subordinate judiciary to deal with the arrears and the fresh institutions, the failure to fill up the vacancies immediately they arise will inevitably contribute to the accumulation of more arrears; it will also bring about a sense of frustration and helplessness among the litigant public which, for no fault of its own, is prevented from getting appropriate redress from the courts in time. This must shake the public confidence in the judiciary and undermine the image of the courts. It must be ensured that such a state of affairs does not recur in future.

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