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Report No. 188

Backlog of criminal appeals, appeals relating to family disputes pending in High Courts need to be similarly tackled

Similarly, backlog of criminal appeals pending (even pending for more than twenty years) in some High Courts, require to be disposed off within three years from date of their filing in the High Court. The backlog on the criminal side can be cleared easily by appointing a good number of retired High Court Judges under article 224A who have adequate expertise in criminal law. Similarly, large number of appeals relating to family disputes matters pending in the High Courts, need to be speedily disposed off through this measure lest litigants may not loose faith in the protracted system.

We are referring to this aspect of the matter because the proposal for establishment of a Commercial Division in the High Court will remain a dead letter if the Commercial Division does not have the full strength of Judges required for that Division. Inasmuch as other jurisdictions, such as criminal, writs also require Judges, then the only solution is to undertake the following steps on priority:

(c) to make recommendations for fresh appointments to the High Court from the Bar and subordinate judiciary, six months in advance before any vacancy occurs ; and

(d) to urgently appoint Judges under article 224A of the Constitution to first clear the heavy backlog and bring the arrears within manageable proportions in all jurisdictions, including criminal, commercial and family matters. We acknowledge the extensive contribution made by Dr. S. Muralidhar, Part time Member, in preparation of this Report.

We recommend accordingly.

Justice M. Jagannadha Rao
Chairman

Dr. N.M. Ghatate
Vice-Chairman

Dr. K.N. Chaturvedi
Member - Secretary

Dated: 15.12.2003



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