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Report No. 77

1.7. Need for effective steps.-

There is another aspect of which also we must not lose sight. Whatever suggestions we make for eliminating delay in the disposal of cases can prove useful only if something effective can be done to deal with the huge arrears which have already piled up. No reform, and no suggestion for improvement, would make any mark if the existing courts remain burdened with the heavy backlog of pending cases. The existence of such heavy backlog presents an almost insurmountable barrier to improvement in methods.

Suggestions for improvement can yield results only if something concrete is done with regard to the already existing heavy backlog of cases and if at least some of the courts can start with a clean slate. As long as courts remain burdened with arrears, the other suggestions for expediting the disposal of cases would be nothing more than palliatives and would not provide any effective relief.

The position as it emerges at present is that even if service is effected and issues are framed within one month of the institution of a suit, the cases would still linger on for years in most of the courts because the courts would remain pre-occupied with the disposal of older cases which account for the backlog of arrears. Any serious attempt to eliminate delay in the disposal of cases must at the threshold, seek effective remedy for clearing the huge backlog of arrears.

We have appended1 charts and statements to this Report showing the institution and disposal of cases in various States. From the perusal of the figures mentioned therein, it would appear that the courts at present by and large are only disposing of that number of cases in a year as are instituted in that year. The result is that the number of pending cases with all the heavy backlog remains as it is.

To cope with the backlog of cases, we must have additional number of courts which may deal exclusively with the old cases. In some States, we also find that the existing number of judges is not enough to cope even with the fresh institutions. In such States the number of courts would have to be increased on a permanent basis so that the disposal may keep pace with the institutions.

1. Appendix 1.

Delay and Arrears in Trial Courts Back

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