October 2017 News

Action Plans Fail To Yield Results: Over 82,000 Cases Pending In J&K Courts

20 October 2017
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Jammu: Though several action plans have been formulated to bring down pendency yet the number of cases pending in different courts across Jammu and Kashmir is still at alarming level with rate of filing of fresh cases per month is far more than the pace of disposal. Moreover, there is no satisfactory progress vis-à-vis disposal of cases pending for the past over 10 years and period ranging between 5 to 10 years. Reliable sources told EXCELSIOR that High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has come up with action plans for speedy disposal of cases a number of times during the past some years besides numerous strict directions to the Judicial Officers for devoting sufficient time to give practical shape to these plans. However, the situation vis-à-vis number of pending cases has not shown any significant improvement till date. This can be gauged from the latest data of the Union Ministry of Law and Justice, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR. As per the official figures, a total of 82798 cases are pending in different courts of Jammu and Kashmir as on today. Of these, 47177 are criminal cases and 35621 civil. Of these 82798 pending cases, 8650 cases (2277 civil and 6373 criminal) are pending for the past over 10 years while as 22539 cases (8802 civil and 13737 criminal) are pending for the period ranging between 5 to 10 years. Similarly, 24408 cases (11364 civil and 13044 criminal) are pending for the period between 2 to 5 years. The number of cases pending for less than 2 years is 27201 including 13178 civil and 14023 criminal. According to the data, a total of 1604 cases filed by the senior citizens and 6302 cases filed by women are also pending for the past many years. Of 1604 cases filed by senior citizens, 1311 are civil and 293 are criminal cases. Similarly, of 6302 cases filed by women, 3862 are civil and 2440 are criminal cases. The data of Union Ministry of Law and Justice further reveals that on an average less than 3000 cases are disposed of by the courts across Jammu and Kashmir every month while as over 4000 fresh cases are filed every month. Last month a total of 2898 cases (825 civil and 2073 criminal) were disposed of by the courts across Jammu and Kashmir while as 4125 fresh cases-1648 civil and 2477 criminal were filed in the courts within a span of 30 days. This clearly establishes that cases disposal rate is far less than the rate of filing of fresh cases with the judiciary. Moreover, only 35 cases, which were pending more than 10 years, were disposed of during the last month. Of these 35, 12 were civil and 23 criminal cases. Commenting on this scenario, sources said, 'it seems that Action Plans framed from time to time have failed to yield the desired results otherwise the number of pending cases could not have been over 80,000', adding 'given the present pace of cases disposal and cases filing nobody knows whether the pendency will ever come down to desired level in Jammu and Kashmir'. Pointing towards rate of disposal of cases which are pending for more than 10 years, sources said, 'if the present trend of disposal of this category of cases is not geared up, the courts will take several years to dispose of the such cases pending till date', adding 'how unfortunate it is that in 2277 civil cases justice continues to elude the people and in 6373 criminal cases the accused have remained unpunished due to prolonged delay in disposal of cases'. 'Moreover, it is shocking that even senior citizens and women folk are being put to unnecessary wait for getting justice in both civil and criminal cases', sources remarked while stressing that Chief Justice and other Judges of the High Court should immediately take steps to ensure that Action Plans prepared till date start yielding the desirable results otherwise giving targets to the Judicial Officers would remain a futile exercise.